Stronger Together: 64 Parish Strong

John Emory Walker says his true calling is in agricultural sciences. The West Feliciana Parish freshman comes from a family of cattle ranchers, sweet potato farmers, game wardens, horticulturists, fishing captains and foresters.

“Everything to do with the land and outdoors is in my blood,” he said.

He knew he wanted to study agriculture, but it wasn’t until he attended the LSU College of Agriculture’s Louisiana Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences the summer before his senior high school that he realized his passion for wildlife ecology.

“Seeing the role that agriculture and agriscience plays in our everyday life is mind-blowing to me. Everything's connected by agriculture, yet so many people don't realize its importance,” Walker said. “The Governor’s School allowed me to immerse myself in all parts of the college. Natural resource ecology and management really sparked my interest.”

Walker is the West Feliciana recipient of the LSU College of Agriculture’s 64 Parish Strong scholarship.

From beef production in Bossier to sugarcane in St. James to apparel design in Orleans, agriculture is a part of every parish of the state, and the College of Agriculture aims to have at least one student from each parish as part of the college.

To accomplish this, the college is offering 64 $1,000 scholarships — one for a student from every parish.

Walker is benefiting from this scholarship.

“Every bit of money helps, especially with the uncertainty of TOPS,” Walker said. “I am grateful for the administrators of the scholarship because they understood what it means to study agriculture.”

Walker said he plans to join ROTC in LSU and go into the military after graduation and hopes to eventually have a career related to wildlife ecology.

 Written By: Tobie Blanchard