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Read more about the LSU AgCenter programs through our news stories.
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, known as the LSU AgCenter, is one of 9 institutions within the Louisiana State University System. The LSU AgCenter’s mission is to provide the people of Louisiana with research-based educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being. The LSU AgCenter includes the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, which conducts agricultural-based research, and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, which extends the knowledge derived from research to the people of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and consumer sciences, and community development programs.
The LSU AgCenter is headquartered in Baton Rouge and shares physical facilities with the LSU A&M campus, which is the state’s flagship university. Many of the researchers and extension specialists with the LSU AgCenter also have joint appointments in 13 departments within LSU’s College of Agriculture.
The LSU AgCenter is headed by a Vice President for Agriculture who reports to the president of the system. The Vice President also serves as the director for research and extension. Three Associate Vice Presidents serve as the Program Leaders for both research and extension activities in 4-H Youth, Food and Nutrition and Plant, Environment, Water and Animal Sciences.
The State is divided into five regions with a director for each that provides leadership for the research stations and parishes in their region. The regions are Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and Central.
The Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station includes 17 research stations across the state at which the research necessary for agricultural enterprises to be profitable in the environments of each area is conducted. The research stations and locations are: Aquaculture, Burden and Central, all in Baton Rouge; Dean Lee in Alexandria; Hammond in Hammond; Hill Farm in Homer; Iberia in Jeanerette; Bob R. Jones Idlewild in Clinton; Macon Ridge in Winnsboro; Northeast in St. Joseph; Pecan in Shreveport; Red River in Bossier City; Reproductive Biology and Sugar in St. Gabriel; H. Rouse Caffey Rice in Crowley; Southeast in Franklinton; and Sweet Potato in Chase.
Because of the high quality of the research, the LSU AgCenter has one of the most active intellectual property programs in the country and ranks among the top research universities as far as return on investment dollar. More than 50 scientists in the LSU AgCenter have received patents or plant variety protection certificates.
The Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service includes offices in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes (counties). Educational opportunities offered through these offices include online and in-person classes, seminars, workshops, field days, publications and news releases. In addition, extension agents provide one-on-one advice and, increasingly, use the Internet to disseminate educational information. Topics covered include agriculture and natural resources; lawns and gardens; environmental protection and resource conservation; family life; health and nutrition; housing and emergency preparedness; and youth development through the 4-H program.
In 2008, Louisiana celebrated 100 years of 4-H in the state. The 4-H program, which got its start with a boys’ corn club in 1908, reaches nearly 225,000 youth every year. The focus areas are citizenship, healthy living, and science, engineering and technology. Among alumni of Louisiana 4-H are General Russel Honoré, who achieved fame in coming to the aid of Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans, and Kent Desormeaux, the jockey who twice nearly won the Triple Crown in horse racing. More than half of the state legislators in a 2008 survey said they had participated in 4-H.
Other units within the LSU AgCenter include the Audubon Sugar Institute, which conducts research on sugar processing and bioenergy production and provides technical assistance to Louisiana’s sugar mills; the Forest Products Development Center, which conducts research on forest product development and provides technical assistance to Louisiana’s forestry industry; and the W.A. Callegari Environmental Center, which conducts research on beneficial use of agricultural waste products, including biodiesel production.
Following is a snapshot of some of the priority programs of the LSU AgCenter:
Animal Enterprises focuses on the primary livestock and aquaculture industries in the state, including poultry, beef, horses and crawfish.
• Our Master Cattlemen Program teaches producers to be better stewards of the environment, their animals and resources. There have been 542 graduates.
Childhood Obesity focuses on the prevention of chronic disease and obesity-related illnesses in Louisiana children and adults.
• Healthy Communities, a joint program with the LSU AgCenter, Pennington Biomedical and Southern University Ag Center, is aimed at improving the health profile of the West Carroll Parish population by promoting healthy eating and physical activity and provide access to healthy foods and recreational facilities.
• The AgCenter received a $1.25 million two-year CDC grant to provide research and outreach projects aimed at reducing obesity and chronic diseases in three rural Louisiana parishes -- Madison, St. Helena and Tensas.
Field Crops focuses on the primary Louisiana field crops and cropping systems including sugarcane, cotton, soybeans, feed grains and rice.
• Rice, sugarcane and sweet potatoes are staple crops around the world. In Louisiana they are signatures in cuisine and culture.Together, these three crops contribute $1.3 billion to the state’s economy — an impact made possible through LSU AgCenter crop variety research.
Food Access focuses on providing access to healthy and affordable foods to all Louisiana residents and is carried out primarily through the SNAP-Ed programs and an aggressive school and community garden effort.
Food Safety focuses on fresh produce and seafood safety; consumer and food handler food safety; certification programs and educating growers on the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Horticulture focuses on consumer horticulture including vegetable, fruit, nut and sweet potato production; consumer horticulture; urban floriculture; and home, school and community gardens and includes such premiere programs as the Louisiana Master Gardener Program and the Louisiana Super Plants Program.
• Louisiana Master Gardener Program volunteer training programs encompass 53 parishes covering 96% of the state’s population centers. The 2,000 LMG volunteers have donated 75,164 hours of their time reaching 5,751,819 residents equalling $5 million in value.
Natural Resources & the Environment focuses on the state's forestry industry, watershed ecology, coastal plants, water quality and waste issues. It includes the nationally recognized Louisiana Master Farmer Program and value-added agricultural and engineering products.
• Forestry is our largest plant industry with a value of $3.8 billion.
• Our Louisiana Master Farmer Progam is a national model for voluntary education and compliance with natural resource and environmental conservation. Nearly 2,500 farmers are currently enrolled with 236certified graduates, farming 1.7 million acres.
Resilient Communities and Economies focuses on disaster education and recovery, risk awareness, sustainable housing, and agritourism.
• Visit our interactive flood maps at LSUAgCenter.com/floodmaps.
Invasive Species programs focus on the management of such issues as Roseau Cane Scale, Giant Salvinia and Feral Hogs.
Youth Development focuses on providing positive experiences for youth in the state through 4-H and FFA clubs and activities.http://www.lsuagcenter.com/4H
• Louisiana 4-H youth reached =286,781
• Louisiana 4-H club members = 46,774
• Louisiana 4-H campers = 8,168
• Future Farmers of America = 10,000
Phone: (225) 578-4161
Fax: (225) 578-4143
LSU Agricultural Center
101 Efferson Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
LSU Agricultural Center
P.O. Box 25203
Baton Rouge, LA 70894