LSU AgCenter and College of Ag News Sources

Listed below are topics in the news related to agriculture, natural resources, the environment, nutrition, food sciences and youth development and the contact information for people in the LSU AgCenter and the College of Agriculture who can serve as news sources. If you need more information or have difficulty reaching any of these people, please contact Linda Benedict (225-578-2937), Rick Bogren (225-578-5839), Johnny Morgan (225-578-8484), Craig Gautreaux (225-578-5673) or Tobie Blanchard (225-578-5649).

Agricultural economics

Agricultural economics Kurt Guidry (225-578-3282, or cell 225-281-9377) can answer most any question about agricultural economics, but his specialty is cotton, soybeans, feed grains. He is the ag economist who compiles the estimates on losses to Louisiana agriculture following disasters, such as hurricanes, floods and drought. Michael Salassi (225-578-2713) and Michael Deliberto, (225-578-7267), both ag economists, can answer questions about rice and sugarcane. All are on the Baton Rouge campus. Deliberto also works in the areas of farm management and farm policy pertaining to cotton, rice and sugarcane.

Animal diseases

Animal diseasesChristine Navarre (225-578-3241) is the extension veterinarian. Phil Elzer (225-578-1938, or cell 225-802-6811), School of Animal Sciences interim director and associate vice president, can find experts on specific diseases and issues.

Aquaculture

AquacultureGreg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist, can answer questions about crawfish, fish, oysters and shrimp. (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge)

Bee safety

Bee safetySebe Brown (318-498-1283), an entomologist, can answer questions about bee safety and agricultural use of insecticides in crop production (Winnsboro); Kristen Healy (225-578-2257), entomology researcher, can speak to this issue, too. For ornamentals and the effects of pesticides on bees, go to Dennis Ring (225-578-2394, or cell 225-978-3881). Healy and Ring are on the Baton Rouge campus.

Beekeeping

Beekeeping Keith Hawkins (337-463-7006, or cell 318-264-2448), forestry agent in Beauregard Parish, works with beekeepers and helps organize educational meetings for people interested in beekeeping. He has access to entomologists who are bee experts.

Biofuels

BiofuelsJohn Russin (225-819-3800), vice chancellor, is administratively in charge of biofuel and bioprocessing research; he can speak about the research in general and identify researchers for more specific information (Baton Rouge campus).

Cattle

Cattle – Regional specialists are: Ryon Walker (318-927-2578, or cell 218-232-2662) for northwest (Homer); Guillermo Scaglia (337-276-5527) for southwest (Jeanerette); Vince Deshotel (337-948-0561, or cell 337-831-1635) for central (Opelousas); Jason Holmes (318-368-9935, or cell 318-243-4931) for northeast (Farmerville); Kenny Sharpe (225-686-3020, or cell 225-281-9482) for southeast (Livingston).

Childhood obesity

Childhood obesityDenise Holston-West (225-578-4573) and Sandra May (225-578-5808), both nutritionists and registered dietitians (Baton Rouge).

Conservation tillage and cover crops

Conservation tillage and cover cropsLisa Fultz (225-578-1344, or cell 225-366-8863), agronomist on the Baton Rouge campus.

Corn

CornDan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).

Cotton

cotton2jpg

CottonDan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).

Crawfish

CrawfishGreg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge); Ray McClain (337-788-7531, or cell 337-296-6873) conducts research on crawfish (Rice Research Station, Crowley).

Drones in agriculture

Drones in agricultureRandy Price (318-427-4424, or cell 225-936-7593), agricultural engineer (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria) and Dennis Burns (318-766-3769, or cell 318-267-6709), county agent, St. Joseph, are both studying use of drones in agriculture, also known as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or UAS (unmanned aircraft system).

Emerald ash borer

Emerald ash borer – This invasive pest was detected for the first time in Louisiana in 2015. Rodrigo Diaz (225-578-1835), entomologist, is part of a team conducting research on control. Tim Schowalter (225-578-1827, or cell 225-252-5226), entomologist with expertise in forest insects. Both are on the Baton Rouge campus.

Farm labor issues

Farm labor issuesKim Pope (cell 225-436-3199), who is in charge of pesticide application training, can speak about new rules and regulations for the training of farm workers (Baton Rouge).

Farm-to-table and farm-to-school

Farm-to-table and farm-to-schoolCarl Motsenbocker (225-578-1036), horticulturist who works with these programs and with small-farm farmers (Baton Rouge).

Feral hogs

Feral hogsGlen Gentry (225-683-5848), animal scientist, conducts research on control of feral hogs (Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station, Clinton); Shaun Tanger (225-578-0344, or cell 225-397-6882), ag economist, conducts research on economic damage from feral hogs (Baton Rouge).

Figs

FigsJason Stagg (985-543-4125), horticulturist, is an expert on small fruit, including figs (Hammond Research Station, Hammond).

Fisheries industry

Fisheries industry – Fisheries agents include Rusty Gaudé (504-736-6519, or cell 504-908-9713), for Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Orleans parishes; Thomas Hymel (337-276-5527, or cell 337-296-6133), for Iberia, St. Martin, Lafayette, Vermilion, St. Landry and Avoyelles parishes; Kevin Savoie (337-905-1318, or cell 337-660-8519), for Cameron and Calcasieu parishes; and Mark Shirley (337-898-4335, or cell 337-296-6864), for Jefferson Davis, Vermilion, Acadia, St. Landry, Evangeline, Cameron, Calcasieu, Lafayette, Beauregard and Allen parishes. They all have joint appointments with Louisiana Sea Grant.

Floods and hurricanes

Floods and hurricanesClaudette Reichel (225-578-4440 or 2378, cell 225-202-6593), director of the LaHouse Resource Center, is the expert on housing resiliency and mold mitigation. Shandy Heil, extension associate, can also do interviews on storm recovery and housing (225-578-4325 or cell 225-603-4090). Other topics: animal safety–horses, Neely Walker (225-578-5338); animal safety–cattle, Christine Navarre; food safety, Wenqing Xu (225-578-3997, or cell 255-399-7899); agricultural economic damage, Kurt Guidry (225-578-3282, or cell 225-281-9377); forage and hay damage and shortages, Ed Twidwell. An expert on hydrology and why and where flooding occurs is Richard Keim (225-252-4994). All are in Baton Rouge.

Flowers

Flowers – Horticulturists Dan Gill (225-578-2222) in Baton Rouge, Allen Owings in Hammond (985-543-4125, or cell 225-603-8096), and Kerry Heafner (318-323-2251, or cell 864-431-2384) in West Monroe.

Food safety

Food safetyAchyut Adhikari (225-578-2529) works with the food industry and small-farm farmers to help them understand new safety laws and regulations; Wenqing Xu (225-578-3997, or cell 302-229-8499) is the consumer food safety specialist. Marlene Janes (225-342-5812 ext 139) conducts research and works with the food industry on safety issues. All are in Baton Rouge.

Forage and hay

Forage and hayEd Twidwell (225-578-4564, or cell 225-281-9448) on the Baton Rouge campus and Wink Alison (cell 318-614-1174) in Winnsboro at the Macon Ridge Research Station.

Forestry

ForestryShaun Tanger (225-578-0344, or cell 225-397-6882) is the statewide forestry economist (Baton Rouge). Michael Blazier (318-927-2578 ext 204, or cell 318-927-7671) conducts research on forest sustainability, forest products as biofuel, and carbon sequestration (Homer). Area forestry agents include Ricky Kilpatrick (318-965-2326, or cell 318-286-7343) for northwest (Benton); Keith Hawkins (337-463-7006, or cell 318-264-2448) for southwest (DeRidder); Robbie Hutchins (318-427-4424, or cell 318-308-2995) for central (Alexandria); and Brian Chandler (225-683-3101, or cell 225-505-0691) for southeast (Clinton). Luke Stamper (318-744-5442, or cell 318-805-8819) is the primary point of contact for forestry and natural resources in the Northeast Region (Harrisonburg).

Forestry insect pests

Forestry insect pestsTim Schowalter (225-578-1827, or cell 225-252-5226), entomologist with expertise in forest insects (Baton Rouge).

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetablesKiki Fontenot (225-578-2417, or cell 225-235-9968) is the fruits and vegetables extension specialist and can answer questions about both commercial and home production (Baton Rouge). Charlie Graham (cell 318-347-8301) is an expert on small fruits and pecans (Pecan Research Station, Shreveport).

Grain sorghum

Grain sorghumDan Fromme is the corn, cotton and grain sorghum extension specialist (cell 318-880-8079) (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).

Grass-fed beef

Grass-fed beefGuillermo Scaglia (337-276-5527), an animal scientist at the Iberia Research Station in Jeanerette, conducts research on growth and expansion of the grass-fed beef industry in Louisiana.

Horses

Horses Neely Walker (225-578-5338), extension horse specialist (Baton Rouge).

Horticulture

Horticulture – The regional coordinators are: Kerry Heafner (318-323-2251, or cell 864-431-2384) for northeast (West Monroe); Jennifer Williams (318-698-0010) for northwest (Shreveport); Sara Rogers Shields (225-638-5533) for central (Pointe Coupee); Stuart Gauthier (337-332-2181) for southwest (Breaux Bridge). Dan Gill is the consumer horticulture specialist headquartered in Baton Rouge at 225-578-2222.

Housing

Housing – The LaHouse Resource Center on the Baton Rouge campus is a demonstration home featuring sustainability and storm-resistant features. The director is Claudette Reichel (225-578-4440), housing specialist.

Hydrology

Hydrology Richard Keim (cell 225-252-4994) is an expert on the hydrology of forested wetlands and watersheds across Louisiana. He is an associate professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources in Baton Rouge.

Insect pests (corn, cotton, grain sorghum)

Insect pests (corn, cotton, grain sorghum) Sebe Brown (318-498-1283), entomologist for the northeast region is at the Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro.

Insect pests (household, lawn and garden)

Insect pests (household, lawn and garden)Dennis Ring (225-578-2394, or cell 225-978-3881), entomologist (Baton Rouge).

Insect pests (rice)

Insect pests (rice)Michael Stout (cell 225-892-2972), entomologist (Baton Rouge).

Insect pests (soybean)

Insect pests (soybean)Jeff Davis (cell 225-747-0351), entomologist (Baton Rouge).

Insect pests (sugarcane)

Insect pests (sugarcane)Julien Beuzelin (337-501-7087), entomologist at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria.

International trade

International tradeMichael Deliberto (225-578-7267), ag economist, can talk about international trade as it relates to rice and sugarcane.

Irrigation (field crops)

Irrigation (field crops) – The water quality team at the Red River Research Station, Bossier City, conduct research and extension programs on irrigation and runoff: Stacia Davis, irrigation engineer; Naveen Adusumilli, ag economist; Changyoon Jeong, water quality specialist; Syam Dodla, agronomist. All can be reached at the office, 318-741-7430. Dodla can also be reached at 225-505-7064 (cell).

Irrigation (horticulture)

Irrigation (horticulture) – Horticulturists Jeff Beasley (225-578-1029) and Ed Bush (225-578-2158) are on the Baton Rouge campus. Stacia Davis (318-741-7430) is at the Red River Research Station, Bossier City.

Master Farmer program

Master Farmer programErnest Girouard (337-788-7547, or cell 337-852-3986), the state coordinator, is at the Southwest Region office, Rayne. The two extension agents who work with the programs are Donna Morgan (318-613-9278, or cell 318-613-9278) in Alexandria at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria, and James Hendrix (318-766-3769, or cell 318-235-7198) in St. Joseph at the Tensas Parish extension office.

Master Gardener program

Master Gardener program Sara Rogers Shields (225-638-5533), horticulturist in Pointe Coupee, is the statewide coordinator. Master Gardener programs are coordinated locally through LSU AgCenter parish extension offices.

Meat

MeatShannon Cruzen (225-578-5426 or cell 979-820-3081) and Ken McMillin (225-578-3438) are both experts on retail meat. The extension poultry specialist is Theresia Lavergne (225-578-2473, or cell 225-281-9450).

Mold remediation in housing

Mold remediation in housingClaudette Reichel is an expert on housing resiliency and mold mitigation and can be reached at LaHouse at 225-578-4440.

Mosquitoes

MosquitoesKristen Healy (225-578-2257, or cell 732-766-0407), medical entomologist, and Dennis Ring, extension entomologist, (225-578-2394, or cell 225-978-3881). Healy is an expert on mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and Zika virus.

Nematodes

NematodesCharles Overstreet (225-578-2186, or cell 225-405-6286), plant pathologist (Baton Rouge).

Nutrition

NutritionDenise Holston-West (225-578-4573) and Sandra May (225-578-5808), both nutritionists and registered dietitians (Baton Rouge).

Nutrition (federal programs)

Nutrition (federal programs)Diane Sasser (225-578-4448) for SNAP-Ed, the food stamp program, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education. Sharman Charles (225-578-1704) for EFNEP, which stands for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Obesity

ObesityDenise Holston-West (225-578-4573) and Sandra May (225-578-5808), both nutritionists and registered dietitians (Baton Rouge).

Ornamental plants

Ornamental plants – Horticulturists Dan Gill (225-578-2222) or Allen Owings (985-543-4125, or cell 225-603-8096).

Oysters

OystersMarlene Janes (225-342-5812 ext 139) does research on food safety with oysters; John Supan (diseases), director of the Oyster Research Lab; Greg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge) can speak to most any seafood topic.

Pecans

PecansCharlie Graham (cell 318-347-8301) is an expert on small fruits and pecans (Pecan Research Station, Shreveport).

Plant disease (rice)

Plant disease (rice)Don Groth (337-296-6853), plant pathologist at the Rice Research Station in Crowley.

Plant disease (soybean, corn, grain sorghum, cotton)

Plant disease (soybean, corn, grain sorghum, cotton)Trey Price (318-435-2157 ext 213, or cell 318-235-9805), is a field crops pathologist at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro. Clayton Hollier (225-578-4487, or cell 225-978-8157), plant pathologist on the Baton Rouge campus who works with soybean and grain sorghum.

Plant disease (sugarcane)

Plant disease (sugarcane)Jeff Hoy (225-578-1392, or cell 225-485-4227) on the Baton Rouge campus.

Plant disease (wheat)

Plant disease (wheat) Boyd Padgett (318-427-4424, or cell 318-614-4354) wheat specialist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria).

Plant disease identification

Plant disease identificationRaj Singh (225-578-4562, or cell 225-747-2367), plant pathologist, is director of the Plant Diagnostic Center on the Baton Rouge campus.

Poultry

PoultryJason Holmes (318-368-9935, or cell 318-243-4931), livestock specialist in the Northwest Region in Union Parish, works with poultry producers. Shannon Cruzen (225-578-5426, or cell 979-820-3081), researcher and teacher on the Baton Rouge campus, can talk about poultry products.

Rice

RiceDustin Harrell (337-788-7531, or cell 337-250-3553), rice extension specialist, is an expert on all areas of rice production; Steve Linscombe (337-788-7531, or cell 337-296-6858), director of the Southwest Region, is a rice breeder and can also answer all questions about rice. Both are at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley.

Rice disease

Rice disease Don Groth (337-296-6853), plant pathologist (H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley).

Rice economics

Rice economics Michael Salassi (225-578-2713) and Michael Deliberto (225-578-3282), both in Baton Rouge.

Rice insect pests

Rice insect pests Michael Stout (cell 225-892-2972), entomologist (Baton Rouge).

Rice weeds

Rice weeds Eric Webster (cell 225-281-9449), weed scientist (Baton Rouge).

Shrimp

Shrimp Greg Lutz (225-765-2848, or cell 225-223-0371), aquaculture extension specialist, can answer questions about crawfish, fish, oysters and shrimp (Aquaculture Research Station, Baton Rouge).

Soybeans

SoybeansRon Levy (cell 318-542-8857), extension soybean specialist at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria.

Strawberries

StrawberriesKiki Fontenot (225-578-2417, or cell 225-235-9968), fruits and vegetables extension specialist, can answer questions about both commercial and home production, including about strawberries (Baton Rouge campus). Whitney Wallace (985-748-9381, or cell 985-517-1684) is the extension agent in Tangipahoa Parish, where most of the state’s strawberry growers are.

Sugarcane

SugarcaneKenneth Gravois (225-642-0224, or cell 225-281-9472), extension sugarcane specialist at the Sugar Research Station, St. Gabriel. Ben Legendre (225-642-0134, or cell 225-281-9475), head of the Audubon Sugar Institute, St. Gabriel.

Sugarcane economics

Sugarcane economicsMichael Deliberto (225-578-3282) on the Baton Rouge campus.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoesMyrl Sistrunk (318-435-2155, or cell 318-267-6712) for production (Sweet Potato Research Station, Chase); Don La Bonte (225-578-1203) for new varieties (Baton Rouge campus); Chris Clark (225-578-1381) for diseases (Baton Rouge campus); Tara Smith (318-435-2903, or cell 318-557-9501), director for the Northeast Region, is a sweet potato expert and can talk about the industry.

Termites

TermitesGregg Henderson (225-578-1831), researcher, and Dennis Ring (225-578-2394, or cell 225-978-3881) extension specialist – both on the Baton Rouge campus.

Turfgrass

Turfgrass Ron Strahan (225-578-4070, or cell 225-229-4070), weed scientist, works with lawns, gardens and athletic fields to control weeds. Jeff Beasley (225-578-1029) conducts research on turfgrass including levee protection. Both are on the Baton Rouge campus.

Urban gardens

Urban gardensLee Rouse (504-483-9471), Orleans Parish, works with urban gardens.

Urban trees

Urban treesHallie Dozier (225-578-7219) and Ricky Kilpatrick (318-965-2326, or cell 318-286-7343) are extension forestry specialists. Dozier is on the Baton Rouge campus, and Kilpatrick is in the northwest region in Benton. Horticulturist Dan Gill (225-578-2222) can also talk about trees in urban settings.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl Kevin Ringelman (225-578-4212), a waterfowl biologist, can talk about ducks and geese, wildlife management and ecology (Baton Rouge)

Weeds (corn, grain sorghum, cotton, soybeans)

Weeds (corn, grain sorghum, cotton, soybeans)Daniel Stephenson (cell 318-308-7225), weed scientist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria); Josh Copes (cell 318-334-0401) and Donnie Miller (cell 318-614-4044), weed scientists (Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph).

Weeds (lawns, gardens, nurseries)

Weeds (lawns, gardens, nurseries) Ron Strahan (225-578-4070, or cell 225-229-4070), weed scientist, works with lawns, gardens, nurseries and athletic fields to improve turfgrass and eradicate weeds.

Weeds (rice)

Weeds (rice)Eric Webster (cell 225-281-9449), weed scientist (Baton Rouge).

Weeds (sugarcane)

Weeds (sugarcane)Al Orgeron (cell 504-616-4750), extension agent (Lutcher).

Wheat

WheatBoyd Padgett (318-427-4424, or cell 318-614-4354) wheat specialist (Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, Alexandria). Steve Harrison (225-578-1308, or cell 225-281-9446) conducts research on wheat (Baton Rouge campus).

Wildlife

WildlifeBret Collier (225-578-4131) on the Baton Rouge campus.

Youth development and 4-H

Youth development and 4-HJanet Fox (225-578-2971, or cell 225-610-6470), department head, and Mark Tassin (225-578-5677, or cell 225-281-9197) associate vice president. Both can identify 4-H agents and specialists about specific topics.

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top