Destination Downtown Conference planned

Organizations from Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas are sponsoring the annual Destination Downtown Conference on Sept. 11-13 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hammond.

The sponsors are Louisiana Main Street, Mississippi Main Street Association and Main Street Arkansas.

The annual conference attracts more than 200 professionals in preservation-based commercial district revitalization, including new and experienced downtown and neighborhood Main Street directors, board members, architects, planners, economic development professionals, public officials, volunteers and consultants.

“We are excited to welcome neighboring Main Street professionals in Arkansas and Mississippi to share the stories and successes of communities here in Louisiana,” Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said. “Historic downtowns are the heart of any community and the people who live near these areas will reap the benefits from seeing commercial buildings put back into productive reuse. Visitors and tourists visit a town to learn about its history, experience its culture, and to see its historic landmarks.”

The conference includes a walking tour of Hammond’s downtown and its historic architecture and buildings transformed into mixed-use spaces; a guided tour through the antiques, boutiques and uniques of nearby Ponchatoula; and a Global Wildlife Safari. Concurrent sessions include information on aligning plans to a community’s vision; strengthening a volunteer base; website development; clarifying messages to attract citizens; diversifying revenue sources; and a look at the history and revitalization of downtown Hammond.

General registration is $125 per person at

Starting food business topic of seminar

The LSU AgCenter Food Incubator is holding a Sept. 20 seminar for people interested in starting food businesses.

The event will be 10 a.m. to noon in 214 Efferson Hall on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Topics to be covered include services provided by the incubator, laws that affect food businesses and basic food safety.

The incubator, which launched in 2013, connects entrepreneurs with the resources they need to produce and market food items. Last year, more than 20 companies made about 100 tons of snacks, condiments, beverages and other foods at the incubator.

Registration is $30 at

Workshop set for farm, ranch women

The LSU AgCenter Annie’s Project is sponsoring a workshop Sept. 19-20 to help farm and ranch women navigate the business side of their enterprises.

The course is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day at the AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria.

Maria Bampasidou, the AgCenter state coordinator of Annie’s Project, said farm and ranch women are generating a cultural tide in American agriculture that is moving management, assets and opportunities to a new wave of farmers across the country.

Annie’s Project is a discussion-based workshop that brings women together to learn from experts in production, financial management, human resources, marketing and law.

Space is limited. Registration is free and must be completed by Sept. 13 at

Seminar scheduled for homebuyers

Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp. is hosting a homebuyer seminar at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Zachary Branch Library, 1900 Church St., in Baton Rouge.

The event, in partnership with BancorpSouth Mortgage, is free. Online preregistration is required at