Resilience moves us forward

Bill Richardson
-Bill Richardson, LSU Vice President for Agriculture and Dean, LSU College of Agriculture

If there is one thing I know about Louisiana’s agricultural community, it is that we are resilient. This year alone we have had to contend with a pandemic, economic hardships and storms. As many of our daily routines paused earlier this year, the business of agriculture never stopped, and neither did the work of the LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture.

We sought innovative ways to continue our research, to deliver relevant programs and to educate students in a virtual space. Our faculty and staff hauled laptops home and set up shop on dining room tables and in home offices so that our important mission could continue.

In these pages you can learn more about how we and our alumni faced the challenges COVID-19 presented and worked smarter to overcome them. Read about alumni who solved problems to make frontline workers safer or pivoted production to make hand sanitizer. Our 4-H agents created daily activities to keep youngsters’ minds and bodies active during stay-at-home orders. 4-H’ers sewed masks to keep each other protected. Our research faculty took to video to continue the century-old tradition of field days, while our teaching faculty logged into Zoom to safely finish the semester.

In this issue we also remember our friend Don Welge, a visionary who died earlier this year. We also honor the memory of Ray Schneider, a trailblazing plant pathologist, with a scholarship in his name.

Our work might look different today, but our objectives are still the same — innovating, educating and improving lives.

I hope this issue finds you safe and healthy, and if we can help you in any way, please be in touch.

— Bill Richardson

LSU Vice President for Agriculture

and Dean, LSU College of Agriculture