In the past you may have received Advances, our annual newsletter, which detailed the wonderful philanthropy benefiting the LSU AgCenter and the College of Agriculture. This publication will take its place, and while it will continue the tradition of Advances, it will offer so much more. I hope you will enjoy the stories in The Stately Oak and that they will help connect you to the strong roots of agriculture in Louisiana.
Bill Richardson, LSU Vice President for Agriculture and Dean, LSU College of Agriculture
The roots of the LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture spread across the state. They stitch together the fabric of agriculture in Louisiana. We represent LSU in each parish of the state where we help farmers grow better crops and gardeners succeed in their endeavors, where we manage and protect natural resources and improve the lives of the people of Louisiana through innovation and education.
In an area considered the northernmost point in the world for growing sugarcane, the Bain family has been raising the sweet stuff for four generations. Bain said his family can successfully grow sugarcane in Rapides and Avoyelles parishes because of research at the LSU AgCenter.
The American Sugar Cane League has endowed an LSU AgCenter chair in sugar production. The American Sugar Cane League Chair in Sugar Production will support faculty members who demonstrate excellence in research areas related to improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the production segment of the Louisiana sugar industry.
David Fluker has an interest in insects that has been passed down through generations — and he wants to share his passion with others. Fluker, a second-generation cricket farmer and owner of Fluker’s Cricket Farm Inc. in Port Allen, has created a joint scholarship with the LSU College of Agriculture and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine aimed at encouraging graduate students who share that interest in studying insects.
When Steve Linscombe retired in September 2017, he didn’t want a retirement gift for himself. The longtime LSU AgCenter rice breeder was thinking bigger.
Benjamin Legendre devoted his career to Louisiana’s sugarcane industry. Legendre, who passed away in July of 2017, spent more than 30 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma. He spent another 17 with the LSU AgCenter, serving as a sugarcane specialist, professor and head of the AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute.
John Emory Walker says his true calling is in agricultural sciences. The West Feliciana Parish freshman comes from a family of cattle ranchers, sweet potato farmers, game wardens, horticulturists, fishing captains and foresters.
A Kentucky native and Florida resident, Kayne Finley was passionate about attending LSU and eventually becoming a veterinarian. But Finley was diagnosed with a rare pediatric brain tumor at 17 years old, and his time at LSU was brief.
The LSU College of Agriculture has named Phil Elzer executive associate dean. Elzer also serves as director of the college’s School of Animal Sciences and as LSU AgCenter associate vice president for animal programs and natural resources.
Nancy Williams is using her background in horticulture to fight poverty. Williams, a 1990 graduate of the LSU College of Agriculture, is the CEO of No More Empty Pots, a grassroots non-profit organization in Omaha, Nebraska. Williams grew up in Coushatta, Louisiana, where her family grew a lot of their own food. She participated in 4-H and FFA and those connections and several scholarships led her to the College of Agriculture.
In the heyday of LSU’s home economics program, students learned and cooked in the food lab. Beyond the lab was another kitchen and a dining room with three dining room tables hugged by wooden credenzas. Artwork gave the dining room character, and an intricately set table gave the impression someone cared for this space with a great attention to detail. That someone was Dorothy Howell.
LSU College of Agriculture Outstanding Alumni include Jerry Peters, Reynold Minsky and Tara Smith.
LSU College of Agriculture’s Mentoring Program paired students with alumni and supporters of the college for professional development and networking opportunities.
LSU AgCenter Global Network partnered with the Visegrad University Association to host the second international Rectors Symposium on the LSU campus April 16 to 20. The participants examined ways of diversifying revenue and private sector support for agricultural institutions of higher education.
The LSU College of Agriculture offers many opportunities across the globe including study abroad, internships and field study experiences.
Nine LSU College of Agriculture students traveled to Nicaragua during spring break for what most of the students described as a life changing experience. The trip, organized by Go Abroad Nicaragua, was aimed at freshmen in the college from any major to give them an initial week-long international experience with the expectation that they would take part in another international experience later in college.
The LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture are working closely with Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. The institutions believe the relationship can make our students brighter, our institutions stronger and our world a better place.
Seventeen members of the LSU College of Agriculture Les Voyageur organization traveled to Poland during spring break, making this study abroad experience the largest in the college’s history.
The LSU AgCenter is retooling how it does international outreach, putting a greater focus on endeavors that aim to improve the Louisiana agriculture industry.
Summer is a break from the stresses of student life meant for relaxation. But some students take advantage of this time off to gain valuable experiences in their fields of interest.
Molli Foxley didn’t have much farm experience before coming to LSU. Foxley, a senior in the LSU College of Agriculture majoring in animal sciences, now spends her mornings, afternoons, and even some free time out at the Ben Hur Central Research station.
At the Baton Rouge headquarters of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health Systems two LSU College of Agriculture students in different majors worked to create a healthful environment for the systems’ employees and the public.
In the course of two semesters, Sarah Catherine LeBlanc often found herself in deep water. The senior studying natural resource ecology and management was waist deep in streams observing water quality and other issues as part of an internship with land management company A. Wilbert’s Sons LLC.
In the fall of 1987, the College of Agriculture recruited a team of students to serve as ambassadors for the college. The group became Les Voyageurs. The college envisioned the team making speeches to civic clubs and agricultural industry meetings, attending state fairs and high school career fairs, presenting agricultural career and education information to 4-H and FFA organizations, and assisting with the overall enhancement of the College of Agriculture.
The Les Voyageurs continues to be an integral and successful part of the LSU College of Agriculture. Serving as a Les Voyageur is an honor and distinction that sets student leaders apart and provides them with opportunities for professional development and networking opportunities.
The Agriculture Student Association serves the students within the College of Agriculture through weekly meetings, regularly scheduled events and by representing each club in the association.
Among the decades-old bunkhouses 4-H’ers have called home for one week each year is a beautiful new structure that can hold a whole week’s worth of campers.
The LSU AgCenter has named Toby L. Lepley as the new associate vice president and program leader for 4-H youth development. He will begin in the position on April 1.