Linda Foster Benedict
Mississippi’s gain is Louisiana’s loss with the March 1 retirement of R. Larry Rogers as director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. Rogers is in the process of moving back to his family farm across the border near Prentiss.
Rogers had been with the LSU AgCenter nearly 35 years. The job he held longest was resident director of the Northeast Research Station, which includes sites at both St. Joseph and Winnsboro, from 1974 to 1994.
“Larry made a big impact on agriculture in this region – and all over the state,” said Ray Young, farmer and agriculture consultant from Wisner. “He believed in research that was relevant. Agriculture would have been on the wane without him.”
While at the Northeast Research Station, which serves an 11-parish area that encompasses two of the major agricultural regions in Louisiana, Rogers increased the number of senior research faculty from four to eight, increased the research staffs and added new facilities. Research projects were expanded to include most aspects of row crop production and forages.
“One of his strengths was selecting top quality people to work for him,” said Carter Webb, a farmer from Tensas Parish, who raises cotton, soybeans and grain sorghum. “No one at the station was ever too busy for a farmer who came by with a problem and needed advice.”
Rogers attended Hinds Junior College and Mississippi State University, where he received a B.S. degree in plant pathology and weed science in 1964.
After receiving his Ph.D. from Auburn University in plant pathology and weed science in 1967, he came to LSU as an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and professor in 1976. His research focused on soybean weed control research.
From 1988 until 1991, Rogers’ duties were expanded to include the Sweet Potato Research Station at Chase.
In 1995, he moved to Baton Rouge to become the LSU AgCenter’s vice chancellor for administration. In 1996, he was named vice chancellor for research and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station.
“His expertise, administrative ability and dedication to agriculture helped redirect research resources to effectively and efficiently meet the changing needs of the state’s producers,” said William B. “Bill” Richardson, chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.
William H. Brown, formerly associate director and associate vice chancellor, has been named as Rogers’ replacement.
Linda Foster Benedict, Associate Director, LSU AgCenter Communications, Baton Rouge, La.
(This article appeared in the spring 2001 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)