City-parish holding contracting summit

A free Small Business Development Summit will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday to help local businesses explore possible contracting opportunities with the city-parish.

The summit will be at the Hilton Capitol Center, 201 Lafayette St.

Processes for procuring goods and services will be discussed by city-parish department representatives from Purchasing; the Mayor’s Office of Community Development; East Baton Rouge Parish Library; Downtown Development District; Sanitary Sewer Overflow Program/Department of Public Works; Fire Department; Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness; Division of Human Development and Services; Juvenile Services; Information Services; Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge; and the Capital Area Transit System.

Participants can meet one-on-one with city-parish purchasing and procurement managers.

Register in advance at and click on the “Business with BR” link in the top right-hand corner.

‘Lean’ workshop planned in Walker

A free workshop on Lean Manufacturing is being held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 10 at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Walker.

The Lean 101 is being held by the Livingston Economic Development Council along with the Louisiana SBDC at Southeastern Louisiana University.

The registration deadline is June 6.

The Lean concept means creating more value for customers with fewer resources and minimizing waste and applies to businesses in general, not just manufacturing.

Attendance is limited to 12 people and is restricted to two individuals per organization. Register by email to or by phone at (225) 362-1406.

Consulting company opens in LSU complex

Belle Terre Consultants LLC has opened in the LSU Innovation Park Complex.

Zia Tammami and Don Hays formed the company, combining their experience in environmental consulting and economic and business development.

Since 1983, Tammami has managed offices for national and international consulting firms. He conducted major groundwater assessments for more than 30 major petro-chemical facilities in Louisiana and Texas and developed master plans for both industrial and municipal landfills. Hays has worked in management positions for economic development organizations at the state, regional and local levels.

Mahmood Sabahi, who was the lead research scientist with Albemarle, has also joined Belle Terre Consultants to lead the company’s sustainability program.

The company’s services include siting and permitting and sustainability strategies for petrochemical facilities and program management; financial incentive analysis; landfill master-planning; commercialization of new bio-generation technology; litigation support;

Leachate and methane gas treatment assessment; business park and eco park feasibility studies; and site selection, geotechnical assessment and development of site master plans.

The phone number is (225) 341-5724 or email

Training, development group changes name

The American Society for Training and Development Baton Rouge chapter is changing its name to reflect a switch made by the national organization to the Association for Talent Development.

The re-branding recognizes the growth and influence of the training and development profession and the organization, since its founding in 1943, in developing knowledge, skills and abilities.

“Our chapter has a rich history of delivering resources needed by workplace learning and performance professionals in the Greater Baton Rouge area. This transition prepares us to continue providing highly valuable services for our community in the future,” said Chapter President Amanda Newfield.

The transition from ASTD to ATD will take up to a year.

Forestry products export training set

A free forestry products export training course will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 26 at the U.S. Custom House Building in New Orleans.

The course is designed for companies new to exporting or experienced exporters with employees needing export training. That could include softwood and hardwood manufacturers, sales agents, distributors and those interested in global lumber markets.

The course is supported by Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, New Orleans U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Southern Pine Council.

Experts will present the latest export policy, guidance and resources to assist companies in developing an international business strategy while identifying the steps needed to find new opportunities in foreign markets.

Topics include legal considerations and regulatory requirements, promoting products in target markets, identifying potential overseas markets, assessing business and product readiness, financing your exports and methods of payments and export logistics.

For more information or to register, contact Marisol Canedo, project director, at (504) 722-7894 or e-mail

Open house features landscape horticulture

The LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station will hold a free open house for nursery, landscape, retail garden center and related industry professionals from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 5.

Participants will tour the station and see some of its ongoing landscape horticulture projects, featuring trial plants in the sun garden.

Topics being discussed include research on developing coastal native plants for xeric and saline landscapes; plants from the Big Bend Garden trials in Quincy, Florida; and magnolias, camellias and additional improved native and exotic plants for the Gulf South.

The Hammond Research Station is located at 21549 Old Covington Highway (La. 1067) east of Hammond. For more information, contact the station at (985) 543-4125 or email LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings at

Lofton opens branch office in Houma

Lofton Staffing & Security Services has opened a branch office in Houma.

Founded in 1979 by Tommy Lofton, the Baton Rouge company provides consulting, staffing, security, energy and medical staffing services.

The Houma-Thibodaux office gives the company 12 locations throughout Louisiana and Texas.

“The area is growing and skilled employees are critical to that growth,” said Bart Lofton, co-president of Lofton Staffing.

Beer industry report touts economic impact

Louisiana’s beer industry had an economic impact of nearly $3 billion and directly and indirectly employed 32,450 people in 2012, according to a study commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

The industry accounted for 19,560 direct jobs in brewing, distributing and retail, according to the 2012 Beer Serves America Study. Louisiana is home to 17 breweries and 66 beer wholesalers.

In addition, the state’s beer industry paid $155.5 million in local, state and federal taxes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. beer industry had a total economic impact of more than $246.5 billion, directly and indirectly employing more than 2 million people. The industry paid more than $49 billion in taxes.

According to the Beer Institute, more than 38 million U.S. households will buy a cold beer this summer.

In the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2013, beer and malt beverage sales topped $11 billion, making it one of the largest selling categories of all food and beverage channels according to Andrea Riberi, senior vice president at Nielsen.

Dairy day scheduled in Washington Parish

The 55th Annual Washington Parish Dairy Day will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Duncan Acres Dairy Farm near Hackley.

The event is being sponsored by the Washington Parish Dairy Advisory Council and the LSU AgCenter. Hosts Brent and Laurie Duncan recently completed a 48-cow rotary milking parlor for their nearly 500 organic milk cows, said LSU AgCenter agent Lacey Keating.

Other innovative features at the Duncan Dairy include compost-bedded feeding barns, self-cleaning cow brushes and a rapid milk-cooling system.

For more information, contact Keating at the LSU AgCenter Washington Parish Office at (985) 839-7855 or LSU AgCenter dairy specialist Charlie Hutchison at (985) 839-2322.