In February 2005, the Louisiana Board of Regents granted conditional approval for the Louisiana Center for Rural Initiatives, a rural development research and outreach center located within the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. The director of LCRI is Deborah M. Tootle. Also in 2005, the LSU AgCenter opened the Delta Rural Development Center in Oak Grove, La., which serves as an outreach satellite to LCRI. James Barnes is the center's director. Together, these two entities contribute to rural development and increase Louisiana efforts to receive outside funding for rural development. The faculty of LCRI includes both LSU AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center members. They collaborate with other rural developmental organizations to better integrate research and outreach.
(This article appeared in the fall 2005 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)