Louisiana State University AgCenter has named Matt Foster as statewide specialist for cotton, corn and grain sorghum.
Foster assumed his new role on Jan. 19.
“Matt will get the program up to speed very quickly,” said Melissa Cater, director of the AgCenter Northeast Region. “We’re delighted to have him join our staff here.”
Foster was previously employed as an area Extension agent serving sugarcane and soybean growers in southern Louisiana. In his new role, he will be based at the Macon Ridge Research Station near Winnsboro, La., although his appointment is statewide.
“My favorite part of my job is interacting with growers,” Foster said. “I always have something to learn from them.”
Foster’s new role will bring him closer to home and closer to his roots. The Louisiana native grew up in Concordia Parish near the town of Vidalia. While not born into a farm family, he recalls an early love for agriculture, particularly cotton.
“I was always fascinated by cotton as a kid,” Foster remembers. “My mom says we couldn’t drive by a cotton field without me asking her to stop.”
His career in agriculture began in high school as he worked as a field scout for a local crop consultant, scouting cotton, corn and grain sorghum.
“That opened my mind to a career in agriculture,” said Foster.
As an undergraduate at LSU, Foster majored in ag pest management, while working for the cotton entomology department. He also interned with a local Extension office. He holds a master’s degree in weed science and a doctorate in agronomy.
Foster said his work as an Extension agent showed him the value of the services Extension provides and has prepared him for his new role.
“In my opinion, Extension agents are the lifeline of the LSU AgCenter,” Foster said. “I plan on maintaining a close relationship with parish Extension agents.”
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 of Louisiana crops,” Orgeron said. “He’s well suited for the position.”