SUAREC/CAFCS History

About Us

The SU Agricultural Research and Extention Center: Agriculture is the backbone of Louisiana’s economy with a value of over $12 billion. Established in 2001, the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SUAREC) stands as the fifth campus within the Southern University System, the nation’s only Historically Black College and University System.  The SUAREC provides service to the citizens of Louisiana in a manner that is useful in addressing their scientific, technological, social, economic and cultural needs in order to enhance their overall quality of life. 

SUAREC encompasses the former Center for Small Farm Research, the Cooperative Extension Program, the SU Livestock Show and its state-of-the-art arena and 385-acre agricultural research station located in Baker, La. The SUAREC also operates a satellite campus, the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, located in Opelousas, La, which services a 10-parish area in Southwest Louisiana. SUAREC's aim is to help small-scale and limited resource farmers and ranchers to develop and maintain viable farming operations that are in harmony with the environment; help communities build capacity to enhance the growth and development of the business and industrial sectors; and improve the quality of life for families and youth throughout Louisiana.  SUAREC has a long-standing reputation of “Linking Citizens of Louisiana with Opportunities for Success.”

SUAREC has approximately 118 full and part-time employees. SUAREC’s total operating and non-operating revenues exceed $14M annually.  With its headquarters at the Ashford O. Williams Hall on the SU Baton Rouge land mass, SUARECs span and reach extends far beyond this community.  SUAREC’s field agents provide leadership and expertise in several areas with an impact in 34 parishes across Louisiana. 

The College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences (CAFCS): is regarded as one of the longest standing colleges on the Baton Rouge campus.  The CAFCS focuses on academic programs and fulfills the teaching component of the System’s commitment to teaching, research and outreach. In 2016, the CAFCS and the SUAREC were combined, creating a stronger presence for the University System in realizing its public land-grant mission.  The College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences has approximately 31 employees with total operating and non-operating revenues which exceed $2M annually.

The CAFCS consists of three departments: The Department of Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources.  The Department of Agricultural Sciences offers a B.S degree with concentrations in Agricultural Sciences, Plant and Animal Sciences, Ag Economics and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers a B.S Degree in three Concentrations: Apparel, Merchandising and Textiles, Child Development, and Human Nutrition and Food. The third department is Urban Forestry which offers the following degrees: B.S., M.S. and PhD. The CAFCS provides students with the fundamentals to support their selected disciplines, the opportunity to apply practical knowledge, and the necessary skills to provide sustainable solutions to discipline related problems.

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