BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU and Southern University AgCenters showed appreciation to the East Baton Rouge Parish mayor-president and Metro Council at their annual program review luncheon on May 14.
Each year the professional staffs from each organization present their progress reports for the year and thank parish officials for the support they provide.
Residents who received services provided by the AgCenters also gave testimonials about how the AgCenters have affected their lives.
Karen Stevens, LSU AgCenter nutrition agent, gave an overview of the work that ranged from nutrition, childcare education and livestock production to school gardens and horticulture at the Botanic Gardens at Burden.
“There is no way we could do the work that we do for the parish residents without the support we receive from parish government,” Stevens said.
Mayor-President Kip Holden gave opening remarks at the meeting with a welcome and a story of his 4-H Club experience.
“I have been involved in 4-H since I was in elementary school at Alsen Elementary way back when,” Holden said. “My claim to fame there is that I built the first one-row garden in Scotlandville.”
Holden explained how agriculture has changed over the years. He said even his friend Todd Graves, founder of Raisin’ Canes restaurants, recently told him how the costs have escalated for buying chicken for his business.
“I know the value of the work that you do, especially with the nutrition programs and all of the various programs that you administer here in the parish,” Holden said.
Small farmers told how they are being helped, mothers told of the childcare classes they have taken, and high school students told how being in 4-H has changed their lives.
Jeff Kuehny, director of the Botanic Gardens at Burden, explained the progress toward raising private funds to move the LSU AgCenter East Baton Rouge office to Burden.
“We are moving forward on the fundraising effort,” Kuehny said. “This will allow our staff to operate from a more central location in the city, and it will put our nutrition personnel closer to Our Lady of the Lake, Baton Rouge General and other vital partners.”