William Richardson, Coolman, Denise, Stephens, Cynthia | 4/21/2005 11:18:11 PM
MONROE – Thousands of youth and adults learned about Louisiana agriculture after they traveled down the LSU AgCenter’s Ag Alley this past weekend (Jan. 21-22).
Ag Alley featured exhibits on cotton, forestry, horticulture and poultry. It was one of the elements highlighted during the 2005 North Louisiana Ag Expo in Monroe.
"Many people don’t know where the food or the clothes they buy come from," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson. "Many people don’t know a whole lot about the processes involved before food or clothing gets to the store.
"The LSU AgCenter is working to change this trend by showing people that industries such as vegetable production and cattle production are integral parts of the food chain."
LSU AgCenter agent Cynthia Stephens, who helped organize and present the event, agrees that Ag Alley is a valuable learning tool.
"We had schoolchildren come through the Alley on Wednesday and Thursday before Ag Expo opened," Stephens said. "The tours on these days were geared toward the students. We wanted the program to correspond with what the students needed to learn for taking their LEAP tests."
Stephens said teachers commented on how Ag Alley provided them with "concrete information" that helped them prepare students to take the LEAP tests.
Several of the students commented on how a trip down Ag Alley taught them a lot about some of the commodities grown in Louisiana.
"I didn’t know (money) bills were made out of cotton," said Jonathan Lawrence, 13. "I can see now why they don’t fall apart when you forget them in your pockets and they get washed."
In addition to Ag Alley, the LSU AgCenter also had an information booth and the ever-popular Mini Farm at Ag Expo, as well as hosting the livestock show. Tristen Matthews said she enjoyed watching a cow being milked in a pen that was part of the Mini Farm.
"I’ve never seen that before," said Matthews, 15. "I mean, I knew where milk comes from, but I’ve never seen a cow milked before. It was neat."
For more information on this and other programs offered by the LSU AgCenter, go to www.lsuagcenter.com.
Bill Richardson at (225) 578-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Stephens at (318) 323-2251 or email@example.com
A. Denise Coolman at (318) 644-5865 or firstname.lastname@example.org