College of Ag News

Linda Benedict  |  9/17/2015 9:00:00 PM

Louise Wicker

Former students of Prof. Robert Godke gathered to honor him at a reception on Aug. 8. Pictured areformer students Michael Crouch, Stephen Pool, Godke, Godke’s former research associate RichardDenniston and former student Brett Reggio. Photo by Tobie Blanchard

Nicholas Adams

Chelsea Sutherland

The tour group included, left to right, Timothy Sandles,student; Mary Claire Gilder, college recruiter; MyraBoudreaux and Chelsea Sutherland, both students; andassistant professor J.C. Bunch. They are in Bratislava, thecapital city of Slovakia. Photo provided by J.C. Bunch

A team of LSU graduate students competed in the National Weed Contest held in Columbus, Ohio, July21. Team members, from left, are Tommy Batts, Josh Copes, James McKibben, Eric Bergeron, BrandiWoolam, Matt Foster, Ben McKnight and Sam Rustom. Photo by Bruce Schultz

Wicker named director of nutrition, food sciences

Louise Wicker, a food scientist who spent much of her career on the faculty at the University of Georgia, was named director of the LSU AgCenter and College of Agriculture School of Nutrition and Food Sciences. She started on July 1.

She spent 27 years at the University of Georgia in food science and technology. She coordinated the Master of Food Technology, a part-time degree program for full-time working professionals in the food industry, and managed the transition to a fully online degree program. Wicker also served as the team leader of the university’s obesity initiative.

Wicker was drawn to the AgCenter because the school includes both nutrition and food sciences as well as the school’s relationship with Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She is interested in expanding the health and wellness programs to address obesity.

“Ensuring food safety with all players in the value-added chain from production to consumption is integral to our mission, with programs that work with private industry and regulatory bodies and those that teach people how to choose foods and to prepare them safely,” she said.

Wicker received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University and received a doctorate from North Carolina State University.
Tobie Blanchard

‘Repro Rangers’ honor Professor Robert Godke

Former students of LSU Boyd Professor Emeritus Robert Godke gathered for a reception on Aug. 8 at the Animal and Food Sciences Laboratories Building to honor him for his 40 years of overseeing the LSU AgCenter’s reproductive physiology program.

The former students call themselves the “Repro Rangers,” and many have contributed to a scholarship named in Godke’s honor.

Daniel Berry, a professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, who studied with Godke in the 1990s, flew in for the event.

“He is a brilliant man,” Berry said. “And he became a dear friend.”

Stephen Pool, a cryobank director at Fairfax Cryobank in Fairfax, Virginia, said Godke had the ability to bring out the best in his students. He said he was grateful that Godke took a chance on him when he accepted him into his program in the mid-1970s.

“I wasn’t the student with the top grades or the best SAT scores, but he took a chance on me, and I respect him for that,” Pool said.

Godke said it wasn’t the students with the best grades or scores who were the most creative. He stressed that they must have their own ideas and charged them with proving him wrong – a challenge that was intimidating to the students but rewarding when they succeeded.

Godke said he is proud of his students and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many.

The Repro Rangers have raised more than $100,000 toward the Robert A. Godke Jr. Endowed Graduate Scholarship.

Donations to the fund can be made by check payable to the LSU Foundation marked Godke Endowment in the memo. Checks can be mailed to Dinah Schuster, LSU AgCenter Office of Development, 101 J. Norman Efferson Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-0106.
Tobie Blanchard

Oct. 16 alumni event will benefit scholarship fund

The LSU College of Agriculture is hosting the 2nd Annual Cocktails and Cuisine on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at the LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse. Proceeds from event will benefit the Dean’s Scholarship Fund.

“Scholarships are critical to recruiting and retaining high-achieving students,” said Bill Richardson, dean of the College of Agriculture and LSU vice president for agriculture. “We must grow the number of scholarships we can award to students interested in pursuing a career in one of the many agricultural fields.”

Richardson said scholarships also are an important tool in encouraging students to study agriculture. He hopes college alumni and friends will see the value in making an investment in students who will advance the food and fiber industries.

The evening will include a silent auction, entertainment by the John Gray Jazz Trio, and food and beverages, some of which will be provided by tenants of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator.

Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple. To purchase or for more information, contact Lindsey Kelly, Director of Alumni Relations, or visit www.lsu.edu/agriculture/ alumni.
Tobie Blanchard

Two students awarded teaching scholarships

Nicholas Adams and Chelsea Sutherland, both LSU College of Agriculture seniors studying agricultural education, have been selected for the Upper Division Agricultural Education Scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Adams is from Gheens, Louisiana, and Sutherland is from Monroe, Michigan.

Each $750 scholarship is awarded to upper level agricultural education majors to help offset expenses during their student teaching experience. Fifteen students from across the United States were selected based on their academic performance as well as on leadership and service activities.

Adams will teach at Lakeview High School in Campti, and Sutherland will be at Opelousas High School in Opelousas – both in the spring of 2016.
Tobie Blanchard

Students travel to Eastern Europe

Tim Sandles is not usually one to venture outside of his comfort zone. The LSU graduate student from Madisonville, Texas, studying agricultural education decided to push himself this summer when he signed up for a study abroad program in Europe.

“I knew it would be a good opportunity for personal development,” Sandles said. “It definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Sandles journeyed to Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in June with three other students and J.C. Bunch, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation.

“It is important to many companies and employers in the agriculture industry that potential employees have some international experiences with other countries and their cultures,” Bunch said.

The group toured agricultural universities, farms, bakeries, breweries and wineries as well as cultural landmarks in the three countries.
Tobie Blanchard

LSU team places third in weed science contest

An LSU team took third place in the southern division of the National Weed Contest on July 21 in Columbus, Ohio. More than 25 universities and 200 students from the U.S. and Canada participated.

“The LSU team placed third overall in the Southern Weed Science Society Regional Contest behind two Arkansas teams,” said Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist and coach of the team.

Josh Copes placed seventh in the Southern Weed Science Society contest, and Brandi Woolam placed first in herbicide identification. Members of the team that placed third were Ben McKnight and Copes, doctoral students, and Eric Bergeron and Tommy Batts, master’s degree students.

Members of the second team, all master’s degree students, were Woolam, Matt Foster, James McKibben and Sam Rustom.

The competition included sprayer calibration, written calibration, weed seed and plant identification, herbicide identification and a farmer problem scenario.

Assisting Webster was LSU AgCenter soybean specialist Ron Levy.
Bruce Schultz

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