About us: Advancing Louisiana

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The LSU AgCenter focuses on research, extension and teaching to make advancements that will benefit generations.

The LSU AgCenter is one of nine campuses of the LSU System. With offices in every parish and research stations across the state, the LSU AgCenter is committed to serving the citizens of Louisiana. That pledge includes our dedication to agriculture and the vital work of providing innovation and support for the food and fiber sector while improving agriculture’s valuable contributions to the state’s economy.

Our educational efforts span nutrition and health, food safety, backyard gardening, disaster preparedness, storm recovery, youth development, managing insects and natural threats, economic development, resource conservation and so much more.

The LSU AgCenter provides individuals, families, businesses, schools, industries and local governments with valuable information aimed at improving economic conditions, general wellness and quality of life. Our faculty members across the state are actively engaged in research that creates solutions for the many aspects of agriculture while serving all residents of Louisiana.

Research that innovates

Weeds, insects and diseases are formidable opponents. Conservation of natural resources is an ongoing effort. The health needs of the state’s residents require new innovations. The research conducted by LSU AgCenter faculty and staff is continually taking on new questions and finding better answers. The LSU AgCenter has 15 research stations across the state and 14 academic/research departments on the LSU campus. Scientists at these stations and in these departments work to make the crops that grow in Louisiana less susceptible to pest problems, more profitable and, ultimately, require fewer inputs to produce.

Better production, more profits, stronger environment

Food that is healthful. Food that is safe. Food that is abundant. Nutrition researchers and food scientists are discovering ways to ensure our food supply is all three. Whether finding ways to reduce sodium without sacrificing taste or better ways to preserve foods for less waste, small changes can have big results.

Healthy, sustaining, safe

Natural resources that are abundant. Land and animals that are preserved. The AgCenter has a team of scientists who focus on keeping the state’s unique and plentiful renewable natural resources safe. Research looks at fisheries and wetland management, forestry and forest products, and wildlife issues.

Abundant resources, cultures preserved

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Outreach that improves lives

The entomologist who solves your carpenter bee problem. The horticulturist who saves your beloved oak tree. The nutritionist who teaches you a healthier way to live. The 4-H adviser who inspires growth in your child. These are the extension agents of the LSU AgCenter. Every day in every parish LSU AgCenter agents are fielding questions from homeowners and farmers. They are hosting programs and holding classes. They are working in your community, in the schools and building partnerships and applying research from AgCenter scientists to enhance everyday lives.

Healthy Communities, Healthy Citizens

Contributing to the health and well-being of Louisiana residents has always been the goal of the LSU AgCenter nutrition education program. Helping people eat healthier, lose weight and exercise more goes a long way toward disease prevention and intervention. This will help hold down health care costs, improve workforce productivity and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Instead of the more traditional model of teaching classes and working with families one-on-one, the AgCenter is looking at innovative approaches — working with the entire community to make it easier for people to live a healthier lifestyle.

Educating the next generation

A critical piece of the AgCenter’s mission is continuing the long-standing tradition of agricultural education at LSU. Many AgCenter faculty have a joint appointment with the LSU College of Agriculture and teach undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in the LSU College of Agriculture. Students can enhance their education by participating in hands-on research with AgCenter mentors. Faculty and staff work to integrate new technologies, such as precision agriculture, into the curriculum to prepare students for the workplace of the future.

The work of the LSU AgCenter is funded by a partnership with federal, state and local governments, grants and contracts, and private funds.

The LSU AgCenter has 15 research stations

In addition:

  • 5 research and extension regions and centers
  • Extension offices in all 64 parishes
  • 14 academic/research departments at LSU A&M

Some LSU AgCenter highlights

  • Crop varieties developed by the AgCenter help producers increase yield, reduce pest problems and improve profits. AgCenter breeders are national leaders in three crops — rice, sugarcane and sweet potatoes — and contribute to breeding programs in wheat, oats, soybeans and other crops.
  • Master programs, such as Master Farmer, Master Gardener and Master Cattleman, teach resource conservation, environmental stewardship and best management practices to improve environmental conditions. Farmers, ranchers and backyard gardeners can participate in these voluntary programs and take a series of courses that include classroom instruction, on-site observations and hands-on techniques to improve production practices.
  • At the heart of the Louisiana Master Gardener program is volunteers. Volunteers assist Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service personnel in extending the educational arm of the university to the public by providing horticultural information based on university research and recommendations.
  • Nutrition and Family Consumer Sciences programs are responding to the call for better health outcomes by delivering nutrition education and working closely with communities, forming partnerships with local agencies, schools and governments to deliver interventions that counteract the determinants of health, such as removing food deserts and making towns more pedestrian friendly.
  • Youth Development programs focus on providing educational opportunities that provide positive experiences for youth in the state through 4-H and FFA clubs and other related activities.
    • In 4-H programs, children and teens complete hands-on projects in many areas, including health, science, agriculture and civic engagement, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. As part of a national initiative, Louisiana 4-H reaches youth in every corner of the state, from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards and rural farming communities. *(From national 4-H website)
    • FFA is an intracurricular, student-led organization for young men and women enrolled in agricultural education courses in middle and high schools. Through participation in FFA, members practice skills in animal and plant sciences, mechanics, business, environmental conservation and leadership. *(From Louisiana FFA website)

The AgCenter has developed:

  • 58 Rice varieties
  • 100 Sugarcane varieties
  • 30 Sweet potato varieties

Nutrition and Family Consumer Sciences programs approximate annual reach:

  • Nutrition education programs: 12,962
  • Youth programs: 12,000
  • Food safety training: 450

LSU AgCenter youth programs approximate annual reach:

  • Louisiana 4-H: 115,000
  • Louisiana 4-H Club members: 42,000
  • Louisiana FFA members: 10,500

History of the LSU AgCenter

Based on the ideals of our nation’s Founding Fathers, a national system of land-grant universities started with the Morrill Act of 1862. Congress donated public lands to support colleges that would emphasize agriculture and mechanical arts.

In 1887, the Hatch Act addressed the need to strengthen agricultural research programs. It provided funds for the establishment of a system of agricultural experiment stations at land-grant institutions. The Smith-Lever Act in 1914 created a national Cooperative Extension Service, which aimed to deliver the results of research to the public.

In 1971, a special committee of the LSU Board of Supervisors conducted a comprehensive management study of the LSU System and recommended its agricultural activities have an identity separate from that of the existing campuses. As a result, the LSU Board of Supervisors established the Center for Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development in August 1972. Ten years later, the board changed the name to the LSU Agricultural Center.

3/1/2021 6:24:46 PM
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Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture