“Small Town, Big Business” in Monroe/West Monroe, LA

On Saturday, February 28, LSU students and staff made a 3.5 hour trek up the Mississippi River to visit the birthplace of CenturyLink, Delta Airlines, and Duck Commander-the twin cities of Monroe and West Monroe.  We began the day with a tour of the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s campus, without which the rural region would be lost financially (think $150 million impact yearly).  Pausing for lunch at Fieldhouse, run by a former ULM athlete and now a huge booster of the university, we then ventured to the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.  The Biedenharns are a Monroe family who were the first in the whole WORLD to bottle Coca-Cola in the 1890s and today help to keep arts and culture alive in northeast Louisiana.  The group ended the day with a pit stop at Duck Commander Headquarters, where we got a special “behind the scenes” peek at how a small business that began in a trailer 40 years ago has morphed into a multi-million dollar household name while keeping family values intact.  We enjoyed our day in “Sportsman’s Paradise” exploring this small town with very big business.

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