College of Ag News Summer 2017

Linda Benedict  |  8/24/2017 3:48:10 PM

Students study tropical horticulture in Honduras


A group of six LSU students traveled to Honduras in April to learn about tropical horticulture in Latin America through a grant obtained by the LSU AgCenter International Programs from Partners of the Americas. Pictured above are students Cesar Guardado, Cheston Shayot and Cristina Serrano; professor David Picha; International Programs coordinator Susan Karimiha; and students Reno Myers and Morrill Scott. Picha teaches international horticulture and tropical horticulture. His students on the trip got to see first-hand in Honduras what they are learning in their class.

“This study abroad experience presented an opportunity to see crops that don’t grow in the continental United States and to see the entire value chain from growing to packing and marketing and to enrich cultural experiences for our students,” Picha said.

The students visited coffee, palm oil and cacao farms; Dole pineapple and banana production facilities; a crop germplasm bank; and the Honduran Fund for Agricultural Research.

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MANRRS partners with Natural Resources Conservation Service

Students from the LSU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) helped set up fresh fruits and vegetables for the public to buy at Sankofa Market in New Orleans. This volunteer activity was part of a newly formed partnership between MANRRS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service to perform outreach activities targeting minorities, minority agricultural producers and landowners.

“This market is in a food desert, which is a place where resources for fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce or nonexistent so it is valuable to the community,” Norlethia Harris, a MANRRS member said, adding that she and the other students were able to talk to locals who visit the market regularly and see how important it is to the community.

The partnership started in the fall of 2016, when LSU MANRRS members attended a conservation field day and tour at the NRCS Addis Service Center.

Students conduct marine research in Mozambique

Nine LSU students journeyed to Mozambique in May to conduct marine research in the small coastal village of Praia do Tofo, and in their month-long stay had encounters with whale sharks that one student described as almost spiritual.

“I was swimming eye to eye with it,” said Sydney Cottingham, a senior from Bowling Green, Kentucky, studying natural resource ecology and management in the LSU College of Agriculture. “It was breathtaking and humbling to be so close to something that majestic.”

Reagan Errera, assistant professor in the college’s School of Renewable Natural Resources, at left in the photo, led the field studies class. Scuba diving off the coast of Mozambique is part of the class experience. LSU biology student Kathleen Rodick, at right, is estimating fish size. The group collaborated with researchers with All Out Africa, a nonprofit organization that implements social and conservation projects. The students ended the trip with an excursion to Kruger National Park in South Africa, where they observed a wide variety of savannah wildlife species including elephants, giraffes, cheetah, lions and a suite of antelope species.

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15 scholars participate in Governor's School for Agricultural Sciences

Fifteen high school seniors spent two weeks on LSU’s campus July 9-20 participating in the Louisiana Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences. The LSU College of Agriculture created the program in 2016 to educate students interested in agriculture about majors and career possibilities, according to Leslie Blanchard, assistant dean, who coordinates the program. Activities included mini lectures from professors, tours of agricultural facilities on and off campus, and training session on leadership and professional development. Pictured are program assistants Tate Roussel and Amanda Benge; scholars Nathalie Dante, Taylor Perrodin and Cameron Russell; program assistant Alison Guynn; scholars Brooklyn Hampton, Devin Herbert, Paycen Brouillette, Wesley Adolph, Ty Price, Logan Reeder, Cody Hanna, Cheyenne Hano, Alexia LaGrone, Dalton Lewis, John Emory Walker, Wyatt Hodge, program assistant Josef Schuster, and program manager Ashleigh Piazza.

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