November 11, 2013

Sweet potatoes and aromatic popcorn rice – it’s a delicious LSU tradition.

This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Biological Engineering Student Organization’s famous Sweet Potato and Rice sale. The sale, to be held Nov. 18-22 and Nov. 25-27, is the primary fundraiser for the student organization.

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. The sale will take place on the corner of South Stadium Drive and Highland Road.

“The sale has been tremendously successful over the past couple of years,” said Christopher Sylvester, BESO President.

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

When asked why sweet potatoes and rice were selected as the products of choice, Sylvester explained the story behind this unique LSU tradition.

“It began 32 years ago when Dale Garber, past BESO president, suggested that the organization sell sweet potatoes from his parent’s farm as a way to raise money,” Sylvester said. “The next day, he drove to the farm in Iota, La. and returned with a load of sweet potatoes. The sale proved to be wildly successful and more than 30 years later, we continue to carry on the tradition.”

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 = $10
  • 20 pounds = $25

For more information about BESO, click here.


Article by Lauren Zimmermann, communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-5706.

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