Wednesday, December 1, 2021

New LSU AgCenter Specialist Has Local Roots

Matt Foster
LSU AgCenter agent Matt Foster photographed in a sugarcane field — photo by Olivia McClure

Louisiana State University AgCenter has named Matt Foster as the statewide specialist for cotton, corn and grain sorghum. He started Jan. 19 and was ready to go to work.

“My first day was already planned out with a grower meeting to meet producers,” Foster says. “I’m already putting things on my calendar.”

“He will get the program up to speed very quickly,” says Melissa Cater, director of the AgCenter Northeast Region. “We’re delighted to have him join our staff.”

Foster’s qualifications and background fit well with cotton, corn and grain sorghum cropping systems. He has been working as an area Extension agent with sugarcane and soybeans in Ascension Parish, where he has been based, along with St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Assumption parishes.

“Working in the sugarcane industry has been a great experience,” he says.

Foster received his doctorate degree from LSU in 2018 in agronomy under Jim Griffin. He earned a bachelor’s degree from LSU in agricultural pest management in 2012.

Foster is based at the AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station near Winnsboro and also has an office at the AgCenter Northeast Research Station at St. Joseph.

Extension Experience

Foster says his work as an Extension agent and as an intern with the late Concordia Parish agent Glen Daniels showed him the value of Extension agents.

“In my opinion, Extension agents are the lifeline of the LSU AgCenter,” Foster says. “I plan on maintaining a close relationship with parish Extension agents.”

Foster says his first experience with agriculture was while growing up in Vidalia, when he worked for a farmer and ag consultant.

“I grew up working on a family friend’s farm at age 13 on his sweet corn operation,” Foster says.
Eventually, Foster started scouting for crop pests “and doing anything that needed to be done on the farm.”

LSU AgCenter pest management specialist Al Orgeron has worked with Foster on sugarcane.

“I think Matt is going to do a fantastic job. He’s very sharp, with a broad knowledge about Louisiana crops,” Orgeron says. “He’s well suited for the position.”

Bruce Schultz, assistant communications specialist at the LSU AgCenter, contributed this article.

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