Meet our leadership, Dr. Toby L. Lepley, Program Leader for Youth Development.

Toby Lepley

Title Associate Vice President and Program Leader
Department LCES Administration
Address 1 102E J. Norman Efferson Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone 225-578-4161
Fax 225-578-4143

Dr. Toby Lepley is the Associate Vice-President and State Youth Development Program Leader within the Louisiana State University Agriculture Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In this role, Dr. Lepley serves as one of three program leaders who oversee the daily management, operations, and program implementation of both the extension and research programs of the LSU AgCenter. As one of the program leaders, Dr. Lepley directly supervises 12 specialists and mid-managers who supervise over 230 researchers, specialists, extension agents, program assistants, and support staff. In his leadership of the state’s 4-H and FFA programs, he oversees the two largest youth development programs in Louisiana with an average of over 170,000 youth and 11,000 volunteers involved annually in 4-H and another 25,000 youth in FFA.

Following in the footsteps of his mother, father, and only sibling, Dr. Lepley became a 4-H Extension Agent upon graduation with his master’s degree in 1993. Early in his Cooperative Extension career Dr. Lepley realized his passion, working in the 4-H youth development field. The opportunity to help youth set goals and reach them became the motivation for Dr. Lepley to focus his career on positive youth development and 4-H work with Extension. This pride in serving others to succeed led Dr. Lepley to serve as an Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development in two counties, a District 4-H Specialist for two West Texas districts, a state-level 4-H Specialist, and eventually being named an Assistant State 4-H Leader in 2014, all within the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

After 25 years with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Dr. Lepley became the Associate Vice-President and State 4-H Leader for the LSU AgCenter in April 2018. Serving in this unique Extension/Research structured system has allowed Dr. Lepley to diversify his experience beyond the Cooperative Extension system into the agriculture research system. The experiences with the LSU AgCenter have provided Dr. Lepley meaningful opportunities to work with youth, their families, volunteers, donors, local/state/national policy makers, and stakeholders in a variety of settings and environments, all with the goal of improving the lives of Louisiana citizens. In 2022 the Louisiana FFA program was moved under Dr. Lepley’s leadership in order to consolidate both AgCenter youth development programs.

Dr. Lepley received a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business and a Master of Science in Agriculture from Sam Houston State University. He received a Ph.D. in Agriculture Education with a concentration in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University in 2003. His dissertation focused on “Work, life, and effect of job on family satisfaction of Texas extension agents.”

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