LSU AgCenter To Construct Research Extension Center Building At Idlewild Station

Johnny Morgan, Hodson, Pamela, Sanders, Dearl E., Boethel, David J.  |  10/12/2006 12:38:28 AM

Dr. Dearl Sanders, coordinator of the LSU AgCenter’s Idlewild Research Station, at right, shows building addition and renovation plans to Dr. David Morrison, an AgCenter assistant vice chancellor, prior to groundbreaking ceremonies at the station Nov. 24. Construction is projected to be completed next May.

News Release Distributed 11/26/2003

The LSU AgCenter held a groundbreaking ceremony this week (Nov. 24) for a new research and extension center building near Clinton.

The new building to be located on the LSU AgCenter’s Idlewild Research Station will bring extension and research employees working in the area for the AgCenter under one roof.

Dr. Dearl Sanders, professor and coordinator of the station, said this new building actually will do two things.

"First, it will bring our research and extension personnel together, and second, it will bring some of the parish’s clientele into a closer connection with the AgCenter," Sanders said, explaining, "When they come out here, they’ll be on AgCenter property and they’ll see AgCenter projects – and that will create a tighter connection to the community."

Sanders also said he hopes to see more projects of this type at the LSU AgCenter’s existing 16 branch research stations across the state.

"This type of center allows the public and our extension agents who have direct contact with the public to also have more input concerning what’s going on at the research stations," Sanders said.

Each of the LSU AgCenter’s branch research stations serves the interests of that geographic area, Sanders said, explaining, "For instance, the Sugar Station serves the sugarcane producers, and the Southeast Station serves the dairy farmers. This station predominately serves the cattlemen and forestry interests of the Felicianas. So we’d like to have all the cattlemen and forest landowners come by and visit us."

Dr. David Boethel, an LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor, also stressed that construction of the new center at Idlewild provides more opportunities to bring extension and research faculty together at one site so they can serve the people of Louisiana better.

"This should cause some enhancement or synergy that will cause our programs to look more as a coordinated effort," he said.

Dr. Pam Hodson, the LSU AgCenter regional director responsible for the area, said she hopes the center will be completed by May.

"This building will be the Southeast Region’s first merger of research and extension staffs – with future plans to include an Economic Development Center to serve the Felicianas," Hodson said, adding, "The old observatory (on the Idlewild Station) is undergoing renovations to convert it into a Conference Center."

Hodson explained, however, that the concept of research and extension centers is not new to the state but is actually part of an overall plan.

"We’re looking at the third of these mergers to occur," Hodson said. "The first was at the Macon Ridge Research Station at Winnsboro, and right now construction is under way at the Dean Lee Research Station in Alexandria."

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Contacts:
David Boethel at (225) 578-4182 or dboethel@agcenter.lsu.edu
Pam Hodson at (985) 543- 4129 or phodson@agcenter.lsu.edu
Dearl Sanders at (225) 683-5848 or dsanders@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Johnny Morgan at (504) 838-1170 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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