Informer: Audubon Sugar Institute still active at LSU

Published 6:13 am Sunday, July 3, 2022

Is the sugar mill still operating on the LSU campus near South Stadium?

It is.

The Audubon Sugar Institute had its beginnings at the Sugar Experiment Station in Audubon Park in New Orleans and was founded by the Louisiana Planters Association in 1885.

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In 1890, a mill was started at the station and a year later the Audubon Sugar School was established with the first sugar engineering course offered. The course grew into a five-year program, and a research component was added.

In 1925, the school was transferred to the Baton Rouge campus of Louisiana State University and a model sugar factory was built, according to the LSU AgCenter. 

In 1977, the school, which had been part of the Department of Chemical Engineering, became an independent department and the name was changed to the Audubon Sugar Institute.

Today the Audubon Sugar Institute’s Pilot Plant facility occupies about 6,000 square feet and is adjacent to all research laboratories where technologists and engineers work on sugar processing operations daily. Students can also minor in sugar engineering while in the process of earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemical, biological or mechanical engineering.

The institute also conducts laboratory and pilot-scale research on potential alternative fuels ranging from producing ethanol from sugars and biomass at raw-sugar mills and using starch-based products to produce butanol to investigating the technical feasibility of the supplemental production of ethanol from algae. 

Truck laws

Is it legal to ride in the back/bed of a pickup truck?

Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to ride in a pickup truck bed on a highway and no passengers are allowed on Louisiana interstates.

The state law, however, does not apply to parades — as long as the pickup truck is traveling no more than 15 mph.

Riding on running boards, fenders, tailgates or rear racks of motor vehicles while moving upon a highway of this state is also not allowed, but is permitted for emergency and public sanitation vehicles.

Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email