State of Louisiana: Pelican Briefs
Noteworthy news and happenings around the state
The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience honors Mark Romig in a gala celebration Jan. 17 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to bestow the coveted 2019 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospitality. Romig is president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. NOWFE has moved its traditional Memorial Day date in May to early spring, April 3-7, and recently announced two new beneficiaries for the 2019 event: a $15,000 scholarship for the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute, while Café Reconcile will receive the remaining event proceeds. NOWFE has raised more than $1.25 million over the past 26 years for local organizations (nowfe.com).
Keep up to date by attending the 2019 AgExpo Forestry Forum, Jan. 18 at the West Monroe Convention Center. It brings a wide range of topics important to area timberland owners, forestry consultants and industry partners, from timber market opportunities to feral hog management and info on the new Morehouse Project venture, designed to enhance the health of northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas forests (voiceoflouisiana-agriculture.org).
U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham has introduced a bill that could help more Louisiana soybean farmers participate in the tariff relief program. The bill would ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture honors the commitments made regarding the Market Facilitation Program offering payments to soybean farmers based on losses to their harvested acres incurred by Chinese tariffs.
More than 54,000 rural homes and businesses in North Louisiana are gaining access to high-speed internet service, thanks to $22 million in federal funding via the “Connect America” program of the FCC. It is helping fiber, wireless and satellite internet providers meet the need for broadband service in unserved and underserved areas.
National Culinary Tour
The annual Outstanding in the Field Winter Tour dinner at 12 nationwide locations travels to Folsom Feb. 9, hosted by Bartlett Farm. Featuring guest chefs Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette in New Orleans, the evening of Southern cuisine is a multi-course feast created with items gleaned from Bartlett and surrounding area farms (reservations: outstandinginthefield.com).
All in a Name
NuLife Sciences, which moved its office from California to Lafayette in October, is changing its name to Gulf West Security Network, Inc. The move allows it to become the latest publicly-traded company based in Acadiana. It will soon trade under the ticker symbol GWSN.
A $3 million capital investment to expand the family-owned Riceland Crawfish facility is underway in Eunice. A producer of Louisiana crawfish and alligator meat since 1985, Riceland’s investment includes $2 million for a new 33,000- square-foot facility and $1 million for new processing equipment. Approximately 96 percent of the company’s sales are out of state, including markets as far as the United Kingdom. The expansion gives Riceland the ability to provide crawfish products to major food distributors and retailers year-round (ricelandcrawfish.com).