Youth adults learn about food production at Ag Expo

Johnny Morgan, Osborne, Karol B., Raines, Saundra, Holmes, Jason E.

LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent Saundra Raines discusses proper nutrition during Ag Expo at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe Jan. 15-16. (Photo by Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter)

LSU AgCenter regional livestock specialist Jason Holmes from Union Parish checks on activities at the Ag Expo livestock show that was held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe Jan. 15-16. (Photo by Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter)

LSU AgCenter agent Karol Osborne from Madison Parish shows LSU AgCenter associate vice president Phil Elzer how to make a living necklace with soybean seeds during Ag Expo at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe Jan. 15-16. (Photo by Johnny Morgan, LSU AgCenter)

News Release Distributed 01/22/16

WEST MONROE, La. – The Best of Agriculture: Producing food and fiber…safely, efficiently and abundantly was the theme of this year’s Ag Expo held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center on Jan. 15-16.

Since 1982, the annual event has been providing a unique agricultural experience and education for the people of the region.

Ag Expo is a combination of several events. An educational “Ag Alley” conducted by the LSU AgCenter and Southern University Ag Center includes a mini-farm that targets youth but is enjoyed by all ages. Other activities include a junior livestock show, stock dog trials, a trade show and an Agricultural Awards & Legislative Appreciation Luncheon, which recognizes regional agricultural leaders and legislators.

Other events included a forestry forum and the Sixth Annual Master Gardener seminar.

Ag Alley featured booths that provided information on nutrition, gardening, youth development, crops grown in the area and the Germ Cave to show students the importance of handwashing.

An addition to Ag Alley this year was a full-size corn combine to give students an idea of what real farm equipment looks like, said LSU AgCenter agent Carol Pinnell-Allison, of Franklin Parish.

“There is also a video of the machine at work, so it really is a self-walkthrough exhibit,” she said.

Corn has been a major row crops in north Louisiana, but Allison said soybeans are now competing for the No. 1 spot.

Karol Osborne, LSU AgCenter agent from Madison Parish, provided an activity for the students to make living necklaces with soybean seeds.

“They wear the seeds around their neck in a plastic baggie and after three days the moisture in the bag and their body heat will cause the seeds to germinate,” Osborne said.

Once the seeds have germinated, the students can plant them in the soil, she said.

One of the most popular events this year was the livestock show, with 151 youth involved with 351 animals and 25 adult volunteers.

“It is a relief to me to be surrounded by others who are as passionate about livestock shows and strive for the same high standards of offering a top-notch opportunity to our 4-H and FFA livestock exhibitors,” said LSU AgCenter regional livestock specialist Jason Holmes, of Union Parish.

Officials expected nearly 12,000 visitors for the event.

Johnny Morgan

1/22/2016 8:40:20 PM
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