Just in time for Thanksgiving, BESO holds its 33rd Annual Sweet Potato & Rice Sale

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, LSU’s Biological Engineering Student Organization is holding its 33rd annual sweet potato and rice sale at the Ag Coliseum parking lot at the corner of Highland and Stadium.

The sale will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Nov. 17-21 and Nov. 24-25. The sweet potato and ricesale will close at noon on Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving. The prices of the sweet potatoes and rice are as follows:

Sweet potatoes:

  • $5 for five pounds
  • $10 for 12 pounds
  • $20 for 25 pounds
  • $30 for 40 pounds


  • $5 for two pounds
  • $9 for five pounds
  • $25 for 20 pounds

All proceeds from BESO’s sweet potato and rice sale will benefit the student club. LSU BESO President Christopher Sylvester said he hopes the organization can raise enough money to renovate the biological engineering student lounge, send BESO officers to a national convention, and organize professionals to speak at club meetings.

“We use the money to support the organization and fulfill our mission, which is to serve the students and faculty of LSU Biological Engineering,” Sylvester said.

The sweet potato sale is steeped in history and tradition. It originated when Dale Garber, who was a leader in what was then the agricultural engineering department, sold sweet potatoes from his parents’ farm in Iota, La. before Thanksgiving.

“They had sold out by the afternoon of the first day. They made a midnight run back to Iota and sold out again the next day,” Sylvester recalls.

Now in its 33rd year, BESO still sells sweet potatoes from Garber Farms in Iota during its annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. The sweet potato and rice sale makes it possible for the organization to offer many benefits like networking experience and mentorship.

“My favorite part of BESO is mentoring the younger students and seeing them come in with all these hopes and dreams, but not really knowing how to achieve them,” Sylvester said. “The seniors and graduate students really offer some valuable mentorship and advice to the lower classmen.”


Article by Danielle Kelley, LSU College of Engineering communication intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu.