The Stately Oak
Nine billion. This is the estimated global population by 2050. It represents the greatest challenge land-grant institutions will be called upon to address. It’s a challenge the LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture are ready to tackle. LSU has launched an aggressive campaign to raise $1.5 billion. The Fierce for the Future Campaign unites LSU’s campuses statewide in the largest and most far-reaching advancement campaign ever initiated for higher education in the history of Louisiana.
In March of 2019, LSU launched the Fierce for the Future campaign that unites the LSU statewide campuses on raising philanthropic support to advance six pillars: arts and culture; the coast, energy and environment; research and economic development; health and wellbeing; education; and leadership.
Coaches always say teams — not individual players — win championships. Martin Haymon is taking that perennial advice to create what he calls a team approach with his donation to LSU. The 1971 liberal arts alumnus has created a planned gift that offers wide-ranging support for the university. Haymon has endowed scholarships within several colleges, including the College of Agriculture, at the LSU flagship campus as well as at regional campuses.
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation has awarded a $1.4 million grant to the LSU AgCenter to fund a four-year research project on reducing nutrient runoff from crop fields. “The issues that are to be addressed during this project are varied and complex,” said Mrs. Phyllis Taylor, chairperson and president of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.
The Louisiana Rice Research Board has given $1.5 million to fund an academic chair dedicated for rice research in the LSU AgCenter. The presentation of $1 million was made on Jan. 9 at the annual joint meeting of the Louisiana Rice Council and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association. The board provided an additional $500,000 earmarked for research during the annual LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station field day in June.
After 40 years in farming, Jay Hardwick still finds himself overwhelmed by the information and support land-grant universities offer to farmers. Hardwick, who has a Ph.D. in art and education administration, doesn’t have a background in agriculture. Yet, he has successfully run the Hardwick Planting Company in Tensas Parish with help from the research and extension programs of the LSU AgCenter, he said.
Savoie Industries LLC has created an endowment to support an LSU College of Agriculture intern at the LSU AgCenter Sugar Research Station. Mike Daigle, CEO of Savoie Industries, said his family wanted to support the future of the sugar industry with its donation. “The lifeblood of the sugar industry is research. Without research we would not be here today,” Daigle said.
Ruben and Laura Dauzat want young people to follow their path into agriculture — and to the LSU College of Agriculture. Both third-generation farmers and long-time supporters of the college, they have endowed the Laura and Ruben Dauzat Scholarship in Agriculture. “It’s an honor for Laura and me to be able to do this,” Ruben Dauzat said. “We’ve been blessed, and we want to share our blessing.”
J. Wheeler Parker III is honoring his late sister with a scholarship in the LSU College of Agriculture. The Kimberly Parker Wolverton Endowed Scholarship honors the memory of Wolverton, who died in a car wreck in May 1999 at the age of 34. “Kimberly was the type of person that when she walked into a room, everybody’s mood got better,” Parker said.
The sugarcane industry has been an integral part of Louisiana for more than 200 years. And the leaders behind Louisiana Sugar Refining LLC want to ensure the next generation knows how important sugarcane production remains. The Gramercy-based company is establishing a scholarship in the LSU College of Agriculture to help educate the next wave of potential employees for LSR, said general manager and CEO Larry Faucheux.
In the heart of Baton Rouge, right off the hustle and bustle of Interstate 10, sits the lush and peaceful Burden Museum and Gardens — a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city.
The smell in the air, the lush greenery and the blooming azaleas at LSU cast a spell on Richard Sivicek. He first came to the campus in the mid-1960s from Chicago to take a placement exam. He was interested in forestry, and a friend convinced him to go south for his degree. A nice LSU brochure that came in the mail urged him toward Louisiana. One visit to campus sealed the deal. It’s a decision he doesn’t regret.
On April 30, 2019, more than 2,700 alumni, fans, family members, students, faculty and staff participated in the first LSU Giving Day, which raised $845,000 for the university. Giving stations were set up around campus, and alumni from around the world could donate online. A sea of various shades of purple, gold and white flags were planted on the grounds near the LSU Foundation building. The different colors represented a category of donor, such as alumni or student.
One child from each of Louisiana’s 64 parishes will get to go to 4-H summer camp for free thanks to a new scholarship program funded by a $57,600 donation from the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports teams. The donation will support 256 scholarships over four years. One scholarship will be given per parish per year. The first round of awards was for the 2019 camp season.
Armed with his phone and a good eye, Preston Dumont walked the fields of the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden capturing photos of the many plants and flowers on the grounds. A senior studying plant and soil systems at the LSU College of Agriculture, Dumont spent his summer as an EXPLORE Intern helping run the Botanic Gardens Instagram page, which is full of stunning photos of flowers.
The College of Agriculture Student Association strives to assist and connect College of Agriculture students and organizations and host personal, professional and academic development events.
The Agriculture Student Association recognized the College of Agriculture’s Outstanding Student Club and Outstanding Club Advisor at the College of Agriculture awards and recognition ceremony April 5 at the Club at Union Square.
In late 2018, Charles Hebert, 4-H youth development agent from Lafayette Parish, was named the winner of the Floyd S. Edmiston Award, a prestigious accolade for the extension specialist who has worked to improve extension services and benefit the people of Louisiana.
Gina E. Eubanks, associate vice president of the LSU AgCenter, was inducted into the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
“I’m excited about getting people interested in growing plants,” Kirk-Ballard said. “Plants are beneficial to our health and add value to our lives, work, environment and homes.”
Students visit overseas locations for learning, service and fun. Slovakia, Costa Rica and Cuba were on the list.
The LSU AgCenter and the Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture in Honduras have had a strong history and partnership since the 1980s. Since 2005, the AgCenter has hosted more than 100 Zamorano students for internships and many have returned to LSU to pursue graduate studies.
Born and raised in an agricultural environment, Jorge Raul Rivera knew early on that his passion was agriculture. A native of El Salvador, Rivera used his experiences and knowledge gained at Zamorano Pan-American School of Agriculture in Honduras and LSU to expand his father’s small-town job into an internationally recognized coffee brand.
LSU College of Agriculture Outstanding Alumni include Luke Laborde, Julie Richard, and Alvis and Matthew Braud.
Suzanne Perron St. Paul designs once-in-a-lifetime couture gowns for celebrities, brides, debutantes and Mardi Gras royalty. The owner of an eponymous design studio in uptown New Orleans, she is also the designer behind the elegant yet spirited uniforms for the LSU Golden Girls.