LSU AgCenter News for Spring 2021

AgCenter rice used in creating sake

Alt text: Two cans of sake sitting on bare ground

Wetlands Sake cans stand on the 31-acre field planted with short-grain rice that will be used to make the beverage. Photo by Bruce Schultz

Short-grain rice developed by the LSU AgCenter has been planted for a New Orleans company to make sake, a traditional Japanese beverage that is becoming more popular in the U.S. The Pirogue variety was planted on 31 acres at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station on April 6 by Rick Zaunbrecher, the station’s foundation seed manager.

After harvest in August, the rice will be sold to Wetlands Sake, and the field of remaining stubble will be used for crawfish.

The company’s co-founders, Nan Wallis and Lindsey Beard, were determined their sake would be made with rice grown in Louisiana.

“Living in the land of rice, we definitely wanted to use Louisiana rice,” said Beard, who is part of the Brennan restaurant family. Bruce Schultz

Beef cattle researcher gets $500,000 grant

LSU AgCenter beef cattle researcher Guillermo Scaglia has received a $500,000 grant that will fund a wide-ranging study of how different management practices affect cattle herds. The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture will also be used to explore why small cattle operations are often reluctant to use proven practices.

“There are many technologies that have been proven economical and effective to improve beef production, but their adoption in small and medium-sized beef cattle farms has not been readily accepted,” Scaglia said.

He said the grant will be used to conduct outreach efforts with programs such as artificial insemination and grazing schools as well as traditional activities like pasture walks, workshops and field days. Bruce Schultz

Two new ‘pocket’ parks in West Feliciana

Alt text: park scene with slide and picnic table

West Feliciana residents can now fire up a grill while the family enjoys this new playground structure at the West Feliciana Community Center. Photo by Layne Langley

The LSU AgCenter and the West Feliciana Healthy Communities Coalition announced the opening of two new pocket parks in Solitude and Independence. The cul-de-sac in Turner subdivision in Solitude now features picnic tables, benches, a shade structure and a slide, while the West Feliciana Community Center in Independence gained a basketball court, benches, picnic tables, a shade structure, a playground and grills.

These parks, also known as parkettes or parks on small parcels of land, are the result of a 2017 grant that the LSU AgCenter received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High Obesity Program. West Feliciana Parish was one of three parishes in Louisiana chosen to receive funding because of its high prevalence of obesity. Ruthie Losavio

Livestock Show goes on despite pandemic

Alt text: young woman with goat

Ali Fontenot, a 4-H’er from St. Martin Parish, was the winner of this year’s Governor’s Award for 4-H, one of the top awards given at the annual LSU AgCenter State Livestock Show. Photo provided

Despite having to prepare their animals in the middle of a pandemic, hundreds of young people from across Louisiana were named state champions during the 86th annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show Feb. 12-20, 2021, held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

To qualify for the state show, competitors had to first participate in parish and district livestock shows across Louisiana. At the state show, 1,689 youths exhibited 1,707 breeding animals and 874 birds, according to the AgCenter Livestock Show Manager Dwayne Nunez. Johnny Morgan

5/31/2021 2:32:30 PM
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