The high achievements of past, present, and future generations in our institution are always worthy of conversation and commendation. In celebration of Southern University’s Ag Center, its 2nd annual inspirational executive forum was hosted by faculty, agricultural staff, and Chancellor-Dean Dr. Orlando McMeans. The theme of the forum was “Lucky Jags,” and the College will be “going green” by highlighting the Department of Urban Forestry.

Chancellor-Dean Dr. Orlando McMeans elaborated on what leadership means to him. McMeasns states that “My advice is, just jump in! A lot of people you admire had to go through public speaking. Everybody struggles with speaking. We are speaking from our heart and from experience. I got a chance to meet Stewart Orlando Scott of ESPN. We met in an airport. It was so amazing.” He continues by saying “I coined the phrase M.A.N.R.R.S., in 2008 [then] I was the National President of M.A.N.R.R.S.” MANRRS at Southern University stands for Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

Mrs. Beattra Wilson, an 2002 Alumna of SU Urban Forestry, USDA Forest Service Assistant Director of Cooperative Forestry and Urban and Community Forestry in the “World Wetlands Week” column reiterates that the simple tasks of “Going green” are essentially everyone’s responsibility to leave the planet in a better condition than we inherited it. Science has proven that humanity can slow the pace of climate change by reducing our footprint in the simplest ways, such as reducing, reusing, and recycling or carpooling to reduce emissions from our vehicles. These are small steps everyone can try. Mrs. Wilson takes us on a closer look at, how we all can play our part in going green by:

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,

2. Plant or Maintain a tree or greenspace in your surrounding community,

3. Carpool,

4. Control energy use—Limit heat/air conditioning with smart thermostats, and

5. Monitor weather conditions for drought conditions—limit lawn watering or install rain-catching barrels.”

Happening on campus, the Southern University College of Agricultural, Family, and Consumer Sciences (CAFCS) has always been a discussion topic collaborating for the annual forum. The event this month consisted of a network hosting its second virtual forum for its Ag student on March 17, 2021, via Zoom.

With organizational endeavors and successes, upon the forum’s conception one year prior, this year’s expectations were focused on a better personal exploration of natural benefits and green economic outcomes. Dr. Zhu Ning illustrates “A green planet is a healthy planet, going green improves the quality of our lives. Trees remove air pollutants, sequestrate CO2, prevent stormwater runoff, produce O2, lower temperature, help in reducing energy use, and much more.” Dr. Ning dives deeper in an affirming way by mentioning, “Students should play an important part in going green and should because they are our future managers of our natural resources and environment.”

Mrs. Wilson believes the heart of every advocate is the unique self-expression of exhibiting “the benefits [of] cleaner air, water and cooler days. When communities are healthy, sustainable benefits can also be economic and social. Well-maintained tree-lined streets and roads with bike lanes promoting reduced vehicle traffic often sustain and increase real estate values in the communities and attract new businesses. Socially, when families and friends can gather outside in a common green space for play or a picnic, their health experiences the benefit of breathing fresh air and gaining vitamin D through sunlight and any physical fitness activities improve heart and mental stress conditions.”

This 2021 Ag Week Events showcased how Southern University College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences and LSU College of Agriculture is making a difference in Louisiana and across the world. Everyone who took part was quite excited to host this event and looks forward to more rewarding, empowering Ag events in the future to come!

For more information, contact the Urban Forestry Department Chair Dr. Zhu Hua Ning at (225) 771-6292 (office), or zhu_ning@subr.edu, or visit the Department website at www.subr.edu/subhome/urban-forestryand-natural-resources. For undergraduate admission, visit www.subr.edu/index.cfm/page/1707/n/1523. For graduate admission, visit www.subr.edu/index.cfm/page/1567.

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