Biological & Agricultural Engineering Students to Hold 30th Annual Sweet Potato and Rice Sale

11/14/2011 11:40 AM

BATON ROUGE – Sweet potatoes and popcorn rice … It’s an LSU tradition.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Biological Engineering Student Organization’s famous sweet potato and rice sale. The sale, to be held on Nov. 14-18 and Nov. 21-23, is a unique project where all levels of biological and agricultural engineering students work together toward a common goal, Nicole Walker, a biological engineering undergraduate student and BESO member, explained.

Student members of BESO will sell sweet potatoes and aromatic popcorn rice, all locally grown at Garber Farms in Iota, La., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday until the sale closes at 2 p.m. on Nov. 23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The sale will take place on the corner of South Stadium Drive and Highland Road.

Last year, BESO sold almost 14,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and 3,000 pounds of aromatic popcorn rice, amounts that BESO students hope to exceed at this year’s sale, Walker said. The profits of the annual sweet potato and rice sale will help to send biological engineering students to the annual Institute of Biological Engineering conference in March 2012. The conference will be held in Indianapolis, Ind.

“At the conference, we are able to attend seminars on various topics ranging from biofuels to biotechnology,” Walker said.

One of the BAE senior design groups had the opportunity to present their senior research project at the conference last year, while this year, BESO anticipates a presentation from yet another senior design group.

“We feel proud to show the other universities what LSU’s biological engineering students are up to,” Walker said.

Without the profits from this sale, BESO members would not be able to serve as LSU BAE representatives at the IBE conference.

“The more we sell, the greater number of members we will be able to send!” Walker said.

Walker acknowledged the many faithful buyers who return to the Sweet Potato and Rice sale every year.

“We feel both privileged and also grateful to have the continuing support of our school and community in our fundraising efforts,” she said.

Prices for the sweet potatoes are as follows:

  • 5 pounds = $5
  • 12 pounds = $10
  • 25 pounds = $19
  • 40 pounds = $28

Prices for the popcorn rice are as follows:

  • 2 pounds = $5
  • 5 pounds = $9
  • 20 pounds = $25

For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux at or 225-578-0092.

Ashley  Berthelot 
LSU Research Communications

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011