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December 1, 2006

Ag department gives students firsthand look at chemical plant

On Nov. 2, Joe Pankey, an assistant professor in ULM’s agriculture department, took his agricultural chemicals class on a field trip to a Monsanto plant in Luling where glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is made.

This is the third year for field trips, and the second visit to a Monsanto plant. Last year, they visited Syngenta in St. Gabriel.

“Most of our students are from a farm background,” Pankey said. “They use these pesticides, and this kind of trip to a multimillion dollar plant allows them to see what a huge effort goes into the production.”

Pankey said the plant in Luling is currently in peak production for their spring product, and that it makes about 75 percent of the Roundup that’s sold in the United States.

A future field trip to the Delta and Pine Land Company is planned for the spring semester. The company, the number one cottonseed producer in the world, is headquartered in Scott, Miss.

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