Alumni back on campus

November 28, 2022

The LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Association is back in full swing after facing the barrier of COVID for nearly two years, hosting multiple events on campus throughout the fall and spring semesters that welcomed alumni, families, faculty, staff and supporters of the college. 

Having alumni back on campus has added new excitement to annual events.  

“We are excited to have the opportunity to host our alumni back on campus and give both our students and alumni the opportunity to network and visit with alumni, faculty, staff and administration,” said Lindsey Kelly, director of alumni relations and career development for the College of Agriculture. 

Kelly explained that the events hosted by the Ag Alumni Association provide students and alumni the opportunity to network with each other and learn about programming the College of Agriculture has created for student development. 

“Any time we have a board meeting, our members always enjoy learning about what programming is being done in the college. Our alumni mentoring program and those events planned during Ag Career Prep Week and Ag Week are always hot topics of discussion,” she said. “Additionally, the board enjoys hearing from student leaders about the many exciting things occurring within our 30-plus student organizations.” 

These events allow alumni to reconnect with the college and learn about ways they support student development.  

“These events allow us the opportunity to again have alumni on campus to speak to students and engage with them in person, something that we have not been able to do in the past two years,” she continued. “It allows them to reconnect with the college while also giving our students the opportunity to interact with an alumnus in their profession.” 

One way alumni can support the college is through volunteering their time and career advice. Kelly encourages alumni to get involved with the Ag Mentoring Program, which pairs a student with an alumnus or agriculture industry professional for a semester. 

“Our Ag Mentoring Program is connecting current students with alumni in the field and growing their understanding of the profession and what it takes to be successful in it,” she said. 

Julie Richard is the president of the Agriculture Alumni Association for 2022-2024 and has been an active member of the organization for many years. 

“There’s just something about being back on campus you can’t replace,” said Richard. “Whether it’s in the stadium, a classroom or an alumni event, there’s always the opportunity to see people and actively engage with students and other alumni.” 

Richards is looking forward to the ag alumni events planned for the upcoming year. 

“We have so many great events throughout the year, it’s hard just to pick one as my favorite,” she said. “Our fall events are always fun, which include Cocktails and Cuisine and the ag alumni awards ceremony. I always enjoy inviting alumni who have accomplished so much back to campus and honoring them.” 

“In the spring, there’s LSU baseball and our crawfish boil. That is a great time,” she said. “We even help with events like Burger Bash in August.” 

Alumni are always appreciated for investing in current students. 

“I think it’s so important to give back to the university that gave so much to me,” said Richard.

Cocktails and Cuisine 

The 8th annual Cocktails and Cuisine, hosted by the LSU College of Agriculture and Ag Alumni Association, returned to campus on Nov. 19, 2021, offering a special opportunity for agriculture alumni and friends to gather in support of College of Agriculture students.  

Each year, alumni and friends of the college donate items as part of a silent auction fundraiser. Alumni gather for an opportunity to sip cocktails and bid on items, which ranged from overnight crab hunting excursions and a trip to Destin, Florida, to a football signed by a New Orleans Saints former head coach. 

“We can see now more than ever the importance of giving back to your university, no matter the account. This event specifically raises money for scholarships which is critical for the success of our students,” said Kelly. 

In total, the event raised more than $20,000 in funds to support College of Agriculture student scholarships. 

“This event would not be as successful without the support of our industry partners,” said Kelly. 

The Cocktails and Cuisine event was sponsored by Zen-Noh Grain Corporation, First South Farm Credit, LSU Agriculture Alumni Association, Dave and Liz Means, Ribus, American Sugar Cane League, CGB Enterprises Inc., Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association, Louisiana Land Bank, Joey Ducote, Luke and Sonja Laborde, and Rogers and Tess Leonard. 

Stakeholder Summit and alumni crawfish boil 

On March 19, the LSU College of Agriculture hosted the Annual Stakeholder Summit, followed by an alumni crawfish boil and social.  

Alumni, industry partners and friends of the College of Agriculture were invited to begin the day at the stakeholder summit, where they received updates on the college, an overview of achievements and met with department heads and school directors. 

Summit attendees, along with their family and friends, were welcomed to the Ag Alumni Association’s annual crawfish boil and social. 

This year invitations for the annual crawfish boil were extended to the alumni and their families. The Ag Alumni Association added activities to entertain the whole family, including a bounce house and snowball stand.  

Kelly hopes to continue the annual event with a larger family focus so alumni can share their love for LSU College of Agriculture with the next generation of tigers. 

“We were excited to be able to host our spring crawfish boil on campus,” said Kelly. “It’s exciting to see our alumni come back after the past few years and see how much their families have grown. We hope to have more family-focused events in the future.”  

LSU alumnus and meats lab director Manuel “Boo” Persica boiled more than 500 pounds of crawfish that were donated by Richard Farms, owned by Christian and Julie Richard.