Ag Week spotlights LSU College of Agriculture programs, students

Tobie Blanchard  |  10/25/2016 7:08:24 PM

(10/25/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU College of Agriculture celebrated Ag Week on the LSU campus Oct. 17-23. The week included activities for students, faculty, alumni, and agriculture businesses and industry.

Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, said the week provided an opportunity to showcase the depth and diversity of agriculture at LSU.

“Our programs include everything from animal sciences to textiles science,” Richardson said. “We prepare students who will become the next generation of plant breeders, food scientists, agriculture economists, apparel designers and wildlife conservationists.”

Student organizations held socials, set up information booths in Free Speech Alley, brought out animals and held a scavenger hunt to create awareness of agriculture.

Alexis Agard, senior in agricultural business and president of the LSU Agribusiness Club, said the scavenger hunt was a way to promote different agriculture organizations on campus.

“We sent participants to buildings and places on campus that have a connection to agriculture so they could learn more about our facilities and who we are,” Agard said.

Members of Sigma Alpha, an agriculture sorority, handed out Mardi Gras masks to passing students in Free Speech Alley. Each mask had an agriculture fact on the back. A sign on their table said, “Removing the mask of agriculture.”

“This was a way for us to show others that there is more to agriculture than just farming like most individuals think,” said Emily LeBlanc, a member of Sigma Alpha and senior studying agriculture and extension education. “We wanted to teach others about different parts of agriculture and how it fits in with everyone's daily lives.”

Students and faculty who traveled abroad through college programs shared their experiences during the Global Ag Hour, a panel discussion held on Oct. 20.

“Not to be dramatic, but this has changed my life,” said Shelli Danjean, a graduate student who participated in the program International Experiences in Agriculture in Nicaragua and studied abroad in Russia as an undergraduate.

The audience also heard about programs in Greece, Swaziland, Mozambique, Slovakia and China.

The College of Agriculture partnered with the LSU Olinde Career Center to host a career fair aimed at agriculture majors. Gigi Gauthier, College of Agriculture internship coordinator, said nearly 70 businesses, governmental agencies and graduate and professional schools came to recruit for jobs and internships. More than 200 students attended.

“We tailored the Agriculture Career Fair to ensure a wide range of participants were represented and reflected agriculture’s many facets and potential career paths,” Gauthier said.

Weekend activities included the college’s annual scholarship fundraiser, Cocktails and Cuisine; an alumni board meeting and tailgate party; and Honors Convocation, which recognized students who received scholarships through the college and the donors who funded those awards.

“Our first Ag Week was an opportunity for us to spotlight all of the educational programs and meaningful work that our students and staff pursue every day,” said Leslie Blanchard, assistant dean. “All stakeholders came together to make this week a success.”

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Emily LeBlanc, Kayleigh Price and Shelby Evans, members of the agriculture sorority Sigma Alpha, set up a photo booth and passed out masks in LSU’s Free Speech Alley during Ag Week to raise awareness about agriculture. Photo by Tobie Blanchard

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Recruiters with Cal-Maine Foods, a producer and supplier of eggs, talk with a student at the Agriculture Career Fair held during the LSU College of Agriculture Ag Week. Photo by Tobie Blanchard

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Haley Rupp, a junior studying animal sciences, cuddles with Tinkerbell, a 4-month-old goat that was part of the Ag Week activity Animals in the Courtyard put on by the School of Animal Sciences. Photo by Tobie Blanchard

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