Field day expo teaches about many aspects of agriculture

Karol Osborne, McClure, Olivia J.  |  7/1/2019 4:38:05 PM

(07/01/19) ALEXANDRIA, La. — About 175 people turned out June 27 for the LSU AgCenter’s second annual field day expo — a wide-ranging educational event that began last year in northeast Louisiana and this year moved to the heart of the state.

The event, which took place at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria, expands on the traditional field day format where farmers hear the latest crop news from AgCenter personnel. The field day expo concept was implemented last year in an effort to draw in a bigger, more diverse audience and to showcase AgCenter programs not only for crops but also for cattle, horticulture, nutrition and 4-H.

The event is expected to return to northeast Louisiana in 2020.

“The field day expo was a very successful collaboration between the central and northeast regions that showcased all aspects of agriculture,” said Melissa Cater, AgCenter Northeast Region director.

Attendees could choose from a few tracks for the day. Some went outdoors, visiting corn, cotton and soybean plots and cattle pastures with AgCenter researchers as guides. Later, they browsed the booths of agriculture companies and organizations participating in the expo portion of the event.

“The industry expo successfully provided a backdrop for the various facets of the agriculture community to come together and network while showcasing new technologies and programs of interest to our shared clientele, and we are grateful for their support and participation,” said Tara Smith, AgCenter Central Region director.

Other activities included home gardening and healthy eating seminars as well as activities for young visitors that highlighted 4-H programs.

“The idea to add horticulture programming to the field day expo was to appeal to a more diverse clientele,” said AgCenter horticulture agent Sara Shields.

Another goal was to involve the entire family, said Esther Boe, coordinator for 4-H and family and consumer sciences in the Central Region.

“This was a great opportunity to involve 4-H teen leaders and volunteers to promote healthy living initiatives among youth and families,” she said.

Rogers Leonard, AgCenter associate vice president, encouraged people to come back and visit the Dean Lee center and to get involved in the AgCenter’s broad array of programs.

“This is a single day of what we do here,” Leonard said of the event. “This is just a snapshot.”

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LSU AgCenter corn specialist Dan Fromme speaks to attendees at the second annual field day expo on June 27 at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter

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LSU AgCenter research associate Jeff Gurie talks about hay and cattle nutrition during the second annual field day expo on June 27 at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. Photo by Bruce Schultz /LSU AgCenter

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LSU AgCenter agent Sara Shields, left, and consumer horticulturist Heather Kirk-Ballard discuss flowers on display in a Louisiana Super Plants demonstration bed during the second annual field day expo on June 27 at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. Photo by Karol Osborne/LSU AgCenter

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4-H teen leader Brooke Harmon, right, of Vernon Parish, shows Abby LaFargue, left, and Finley Sullivan, center, both of Allen Parish, how to inflate a balloon by placing it on top of a bottle containing baking soda and vinegar during the second annual field day expo on June 27 at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. Photo by Karol Osborne/LSU AgCenter

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LSU AgCenter agent Quincy Vidrine conducts a canning demonstration during the second annual field day expo on June 27 at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria. Photo by Karol Osborne/LSU AgCenter

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