SU Ag Center Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Leodrey Williams has been inducted into the Louisiana Ag Hall of Distinction

Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center Chancellor Emeritus, Leodrey Williams, Ed.D., has been inducted into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction. The induction was held at the L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge on March 7, 2024.

He is the first African American to be inducted into the state's Agriculture Hall of Distinction.

Dr. Williams, who was the first Chancellor of the Southern University Ag Center, began his 50-year professional career in Agriculture with Cooperative Extension in 1965 as a County Agricultural Agent at Louisiana State University.

In 1972, Williams was hired by Southern University as an Agricultural Specialist, along with a small staff, to recruit and create programs for its’ Cooperative Extension Program. He later held several positions at both Southern University and Louisiana State University.

He served as the Acting Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Extension Service for all states and territories. Williams was also elevated to the position of Associate Administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), the precursor to the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture, USDA/NIFA. He also helped to develop memorandums of understanding with the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of China.

In 1995, Williams returned to Southern as the Cooperative Extension Director, and in 2001, he was asked to lead the newly formed Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the fifth campus of the Southern University System. He held this position for 14 years. Dr. Williams retired from the Southern University Ag Center on June 30, 2015. The title of Chancellor Emeritus was bestowed upon him during the Southern University System’s Board of Supervisors meeting on July 21, 2023.

Dr. Ralph Abraham, a medical doctor and former U.S. congressman from Archibald, La. and Steve Crawford, a crop consultant from Sicily Island, La. were also inducted into the Hall of Distinction with Dr. Willaims.

The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction honors individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture or agriculture-related industries. It is a joint venture of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

The original announcement from the LSU AgCenter is available here.


This website uses cookies to ensure site visitors get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies and Privacy Statement. To find out more, please visit Southern University's Privacy Statement.