Workshops set for forest landowners

The LSU AgCenter will offer four free workshops for forest landowners and agricultural producers to help them identify opportunities in emerging markets for converting wood or agricultural crops into energy.

Forest workshops are scheduled for Nov. 2 at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station in Hammond and Nov. 15 at the Dean Lee Research Station south of Alexandria.

Agriculture workshops are scheduled for Nov. 3 at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley and Nov. 29 at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro.

Times for all workshops are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with lunch provided.

To register or obtain additional information, contact LSU AgCenter forestry specialist Michael Blazier at or (318) 927-2578, ext. 204.

Online shopping can support nonprofits

HOPE Ministries, a Capital Area United Way partner agency and Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations member agency, launched Louisiana Community Marketplace.

Shoppers support their favorite local nonprofit organizations, schools and churches by making their online purchases via http:// A portion of online purchases from Amazon, Target, Sears, Expedia and others are returned to the community, providing a revenue source for the nonprofit sector.

LSU begins financial planning program

LSU’s Department of Finance has registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to provide a new financial planning undergraduate specialization.

Students who complete the financial planning program at LSU will be eligible to sit for the national CFP certification examination administered by the CFP Board.

For more information, contact Fran Lawrence, CFP Board-registered program director, at or (225) 578-6291.

Hearing centers join Miracle-Ear network

Lafayette-based Billedeaux Hearing Centers has converted its seven locations in Louisiana to Miracle-Ear’s nationwide network and acquired five of Miracles-Ear’s corporate stores.

Dickie Billedeaux, franchise owner, said he plans further expansion in the fourth quarter.

Plymouth, Minn.-based Miracle Ear has 1,200 franchised locations across the U.S., many of which are in Sears stores.

Learn to make your own biodiesel fuel

The LSU AgCenter will conduct a workshop on how to make your own biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 12 at the W.A. Callegari Environmental Center off Nicholson Drive south of LSU.

Cost for the workshop is $50, and participation is limited to 15 people.

To register, call Ronda Clark at (225) 578-6998. More information is available online at

Landscape field day set in Hammond

The LSU AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station will hold its annual landscape horticulture field day for nursery, landscape and garden center professionals Oct. 18.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m. Walking tours of landscape research projects and demonstration plots is scheduled 9 a.m.-noon.

The station is about six miles east of Hammond at 21549 Old Hammond Covington Highway (La. Highway 1067).

Topics include an overview of ornamental plant variety evaluations in the sun and shade gardens at the station. Included will be Drift roses and new plants from various companies.

Highlighted plants will include hostas, caladiums for sun and shade, SunPatiens, Flutterby Petite buddleia, acalypha and alternanthera.

Research in care and maintenance will highlight plant growth regulator studies, fertility studies and a short update on the popular Louisiana Super Plants program will be discussed.

Two new gardens at the station include the crape myrtle evaluation garden and the easy-care rose garden.

For more information, contact the Hammond Research Station at (985) 543-4125.

LSU, state offer new certification

The LSU Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute is partnering with the Louisiana Economic Development department for LSU’s Economic Development Certification Program.

The two-year certification program is designed for economic development professionals, chamber of commerce staff, elected officials, local civic leaders and other business professionals interested in economic development.

LED Secretary Stephen Moret called the partnership with LSU a strong move to grow the professional certification program.

LSU Executive Education will administer the initiative as one of its open enrollment programs, similar to its longstanding Executive Development Program.

The Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association, or LIDEA, will continue to advise the program as the state’s professional association for economic development. LIDEA will work on curriculum development with David Kolzow, who continues as program dean and has more than three decades of experience as an economic development executive and professor.

The International Economic Development Council certifies the program’s basic course. Program courses are offered multiple times a year on the South Campus of LSU.

The upcoming schedule of courses are Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Development, Nov. 8-9; Louisiana Basic Economic Development, Feb. 7-10; Marketing and Attraction, May 8-9; Strategic Planning, Aug. 21-22; and Finance, Oct. 2-3

For more information, contact Robin Kistler at or (225) 578-1190.

To register for the program, visit

LSU begins Supplier Diversity Initiative

The LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative has been started by the E.J. Ourso College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, LSU Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach, and the LSU Office of Finance and Administrative Services.

“The initiative seeks to encourage economic development and growth of small, minority-owned, women-owned, under-resourced, owners with disabilities, veteran-owned, HUBzone and local business enterprises by providing community-based awareness and educational programs; creating contracting opportunities for diverse vendors; developing partnerships between diverse vendors who have not worked directly or indirectly with LSU, maintaining a high standard of quality in all products and services provided,” said Sonja Wiley-Patton, associate professor of information systems and decision sciences and director of the E.J. Ourso College of Business Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.

The LSU Supplier Diversity Initiative currently operates from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, ExxonMobil and Shell.

For information, contact or visit

Cellular Sales opens store in Walker

Cellular Sales, the nation’s largest Verizon Wireless retailer, has opened at 28999 Walker Road in the new Walker Plaza.

The more than $350,000 store in Walker will employ up to six sales people.

The store is the retailer’s first in Walker and third store in the Baton Rouge area.

Cellular Sales now operates nearly 450 stores across the United States, including seven in Louisiana. Cellular Sales is headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn.