Michael Salassi has been named as LSU AgCenter associate vice president and program leader of animal and plant sciences. He will replace Rogers Leonard, who plans to retire in February 2020.For the past four years, Salassi has served as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness where he is the A. Wilbert’s Sons Endowed Professor of Agricultural and Natural Resources. Prior to that time, he was on the faculty for 21 years with a teaching, research and extension appointment.
Rick Mascagni, an agronomist at the Northeast Research Station near St. Joseph, is retiring after nearly 30 years with the AgCenter. He has researched ways to improve the yields of corn, grain sorghum, wheat and oats. He also has studied fertilizer efficiency and coordinated corn and grain sorghum hybrid testing programs.
Lawson Connor, an economist, has been hired to conduct research on corn, soybean and feed grain markets; crop insurance and farm finance; and the economics of sustainable agriculture practices. He also is responsible for extension work aimed at helping farmers improve their financial performance.Connor, who is based on the LSU Baton Rouge campus, also teaches economics courses. Prior to joining the AgCenter, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University.
Weed scientist Daniel Stephenson has been named the state weed specialist for corn, cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat. In this capacity, he helps train AgCenter agents and helps clientele manage weeds.
Plant pathologist Boyd Padgett is serving as the interim state soybean specialist following the departure of Todd Spivey. A replacement hire is expected to be made in 2019.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture