The West Baton Rouge Museum is pleased to announce a new exhibition entitled Rural Engineuity which will open on May 19th and run through August 5th, 2018. This exhibition highlights the innovations and people who transformed sugarcane farming and processing in the rural south. The tractor has been called the most important agricultural advancement of our time and its invention changed the way farmers worked their land and improved profit margins. Farmers have always had to master many skills, from weather forecasting to veterinary science and animal husbandry to engineering. Many farmers and agricultural workers took manufactured tractors and modified them to meet the unique needs of their crops. There was no denying the skill and engineering genius that was on display with these individualized modifications.
Among the Louisiana inventors featured in this exhibit are Leonard Julien and Allen Ramsey Wurtele. A native of Ascension Parish, Leonard Julien invented a sugar cane planting machine after realizing there had to be a better way to plant the crop. Allen Ramsey Wurtele of Pointe Coupee Parish invented a cane harvester and mechanized much of his rural farm. Photographs and design blueprints for his invention will be on display. The impacts of the 4-H Club, Future Farmers of America and the Cooperative Extension service will also be featured in the exhibit.