Page Four

Cotton and LSU

by:  Emma Hoversten

tiger stadium
We started our day in Alexandria.  From there, we toured the Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gin.  It was really interesting to see the historical perspective of cotton production.  We toured a variety of buildings including machine sheds, cotton storage buildings, and slave houses.  It was interesting to hear about how the slaves lived, both as slaves and as free people.  Slavery, although not a good thing, brought a lot of wealth the the American South.  We also watched a video about modern day cotton production.  Did you know that one bale of cotton weighs 480 pounds and can make 1,200 t-shirts?!?!After the Frogmore Cotton Plantation, we continued our journey to Batton Rouge.  We spent a good part of the afternoon at Louisiana State University.  We toured the LSU campus, seeing the dairy barns, live mascot (Mike VI), and the various stadiums.  Some of the trees at LSU are insured for $1 million!!  The LSU CFFA treated us with a Jambalaya and craw fish dinner.  We finished our day celebrating Doreen’s birthday and having a little free time at the hotel.

Welcome to “Death Valley”

by:  Crystal Jones

Welcome to Louisiana State University, the home of the Baton Rouge Fighting Tigers! As an SEC Conference fan myself, I was extremely excited to spend my afternoon at the home of Death Valley and “Mike the Tiger.” Our afternoon began with a tour of the Land Grant University that houses over 28,000 undergrad and graduate students.

The college was originally founded as a military institution in 1853 and is often referred to as “LSU” instead of its actual title, the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. While, the campus continues to house a variety of agricultural pursuits, the college was unofficially renamed the Louisiana State University to reflect the other areas of study at the college.

Notable stops on the tour included a stop to The LSU Museum of Natural History, a visit to Tiger Stadium, aka “Death Valley”, and a home-style crawfish broil at the campus home of the Louisiana FFA. Hosting a collection of mammals, insects, and birds native and foreign to the state of Louisiana, the primary attraction within the LSU Museum of Natural History is the taxidermy figure of “Mike I.” Mike is the name of the LSU tiger mascot. Apparently the only live college mascot, the University is now hosting Mike XI. On the route to Tiger Stadium, our group took a peak at the LSU Law School, Memorial Tower, and heard a few ghost stories about Pleasant Hall, one of the former residence halls on campus. Finally, as the 80 degree weather started to feel a little uncomfortable, we reached my favorite part of the tour!

The 1958, 2003, and 2007 National NCAA Football Champions, the LSU Fighting Tigers have played some extremely intense games in their legendary stadium, known as “Death Valley.” Currently undergoing some expansion, it is easy to see that fans of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) are not messing around. Football is serious business down here. Across the street from Tiger Stadium stands the less notable Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This building, shaped like a giant spaceship, is home to LSU’s basketball program where famous NBA player Shaquille O’Neal played his college games.


To round out our tour around the LSU campus and agricultural centers, we ended up at the “Old Forestry Building” where the Louisiana FFA calls home. Here we were greeted with a real southern welcome – a crawfish broil. Bright red in color, the crawfish comes out of the boiling water pretty much the same as it went in – tiny pinchers, small beady black eyes, and a crunchy shell. Served with a side of chicken or sausage jambalaya, the crawfish served as a spicy challenge for many of us northerners. It takes a twist, a pry, and a pull to get the tiny amount of fleshy meat from the tail of the crawfish. With a taste similar to shrimp, the lure of the crawfish actually comes from the spices that it is soaked with. Let’s just say the LSU students warned us not to touch our face or eyes if we wanted to avoid a nasty spicy-eyes surprise.

“Pitch Perfect” and Other High Notes

by:  Amy Grotsun

I love Pitch Perfect. This movie is one of my favorites and it is easily quoted in daily life. What does this have to do with Louisiana? Well before today I did not think there was any connection, however my mind was blown today when our wonderful tour guide, Bradley Coleman, informed us of a fun fact about the Louisiana State University campus. This fun fact is that two scenes of Pitch Perfect were filmed on this campus. We got the opportunity to see where the scene of the A Capella choir initiation night was filmed. Our group had fun standing on these benches, quoting the movie, taking pictures, and calling friends to make them jealous of our location. I may consider transferring schools just so I can say I go to school where part of Pitch Perfect was filmed.

photo of pitch perfect

Another high note of the day was the cotton picking good time we had at the Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gin. We learned about the transitions from cotton farming during slavery time up until the present day production. It was very interesting to see all of the changes made and fascinating how much cotton is produced in the United States. The most interesting part of the tour in my opinion was getting to pick our own cotton and take it with us.
All in all the day was one to remember. Whether it was sweating while walking around campus looking like a group of high schoolers looking at colleges or sitting in a log cabin watching a movie on the history of cotton I learned a lot of information today and cannot wait to share it with my friends back home. However, I do not think I could handle the heat this early in the year, so I will stay in Minnesota for my college years.

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