Starting business seminar scheduled

A seminar titled “Starting and Managing Your Business” will be held by the Baton Rouge Area SCORE chapter from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Bon Carré Executive Conference Center, 7249 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge.

Topics include introduction to the business plan; business taxes; legal aspects of business; technology for business; advertising and marketing; insurance; banking requirements; and sales.

The cost is $50 in advance and $60 at the door if seats are available. An associate can attend for $40. Get information and register at

BBB plans business speed dating event

The Better Business Bureau is holding a “Speed Dating for Businesses” matchmaking event from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Holiday Inn Baton Rouge South, 9940 Airline Highway.

About 50 participants will make up to eight new contacts every 15 minutes. Participants will have 1½ minutes at each table to present information about their companies or services. During individual presentations, brochures and samples may be used.

There is limited seating. Only one person per company is allowed to participate. Register at or contact B.J. Militello at (225) 346-8343 or email

Business First Bank opens loan office

Business First Bank, based in Baton Rouge, has opened a loan production office in Metairie at 3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 2950.

“As Louisiana’s leading business-focused community bank, it is time for us to contribute actively to the renaissance underway in New Orleans,” said Christopher Keene, president and former senior vice president and West Bank regional manager of First Bank.

In addition to Keene, Christopher Palermo will join the Metairie office as senior vice president, commercial banker; Bryan Pastor as vice president, commercial banker; and there will be a commercial loan assistant.

Business First Bank operates 18 offices, including 16 banking centers, one loan production office and one wealth solutions office in seven markets across Louisiana.

Altus Global acquired from French owner

Senior management at Altus Global Trade Solutions in Kenner, in partnership with NewSpring Capital, Evergreen Industries and Spring Capital Partners, announced the purchase of Altus from French parent company Natixis.

The price was not disclosed.

Founded in 1994, Altus provides commercial debt recovery services to more than 100,000 customers in the United States and abroad. Altus has branch offices in Colorado, Washington and New Jersey and affiliate offices in Delaware, Washington, Arizona and Iowa.

“This partnership is a significant step into the future for Altus,” corporate President Tom Brenan said.

It can accelerate growth through resources that support technological innovation, enhanced customer service and selective mergers and acquisitions, he said. Altus’ five-year growth plan calls for doubling its corporate footprint.

“NewSpring Capital and Spring Capital Partners recognized Altus as an industry leader with strong management and significant growth potential,” said Andrew Panzo, NewSpring Capital general partner.

The companies said Altus GTS corporate leadership and staff will remain and accounts receivable management services will be expanded and optimized.

Small ruminant field day scheduled Saturday

A small ruminant field day will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Baton Rouge at the LSU vet school on Skip Bertman Drive.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The event is hosted by the LSU Agricultural Center, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Southern University Ag Center.

Experts from LSU and Southern University will present information on forages, nutrition, feeding with distiller grains, diseases, reproductive performance and herd management. The fee is $5 per person or $10 per family to cover lunch and handout materials.

For an additional $10, producers can participate in a FAMACHA certification course during the lunch hour, which will focus on recognizing symptoms of internal parasites in sheep and goats.

The afternoon will feature demonstrations of fecal collection, blood collection, injections, banding, docking, castration and body condition scoring.

For information, contact Ken McMillin at or (225) 578-3438 or Jim Miller at or (225) 578-9652. Questions about the certification program should go to Sebhatu Gebrelul at or (225) 771-3841.

Beef cattle, forage field day planned Friday

The LSU Agricultural Center will host a beef cattle and forage field day on Friday at the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station at 4419 Idlewild Road in Clinton.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. The program will include a field tour and several indoor presentations followed by a sponsored lunch.

Topics include clover and brassica crops for spring and winter grazing; growing small grain crops alone or in mixtures with ryegrass; white clover tolerance to 2,4-D herbicide; winter weed control; body condition scoring; market outlook; and how much cow size matters.

The field day is approved for both Phase 2 and continuing education credits in the Louisiana Master Farmer Program.

Register by contacting county agent Bobby Bingham at (225) 683-3101 or

American Press acquires newspapers

The Lake Charles American Press, owned by the Shearman family, has acquired the Southwest Daily News in nearby Sulphur and two other area newspapers from New Media Investment Group.

The price was not disclosed.

Acquired in the purchase were the Southwest Daily News; the Vinton News; and the Southwest Review, a shopper that covers areas of Westlake, Moss Bluff and Sulphur.

Tom Shearman III, American Press publisher since 1996, said there will be no immediate changes in the operations at those newspapers. Triangle Press in Port Arthur, Texas, is printing the newspapers.

“We will continue to serve readers in Sulphur, Vinton, Moss Bluff and Westlake,” Shearman said.

Shearman is the fourth publisher of the American Press, which dates its founding to 1895 when it became a daily newspaper.

GateHouse Media, now part of New Media, become owners of the newspapers as part of its acquisition of Liberty Group Publishing in 2005. Liberty bought them from Louisiana newspaper owner Erbon Wise and his partners in 1998.