AgCenter's Budget Cut As World Population Grows & Needs More Food

by Don Molino

Dr. Bill Richardson, LSU Vice-President of Agriculture and Dean of the LSU College of Agriculture, told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday the latest figures indicate the world's population will reach 9.2 billion by 2050. That's about the same time the freshmen who entered LSU last fall will reach the mid-point in their careers. And all those additional people "are going to want to eat."

Richardson also pointed out the land needed to grow all that extra food for the addition two billion people is growing smaller every year, which makes agriculture research even that much more vital. Even more has to be produced with even less.

On another subject, Richardson said he's been told to plan for another 10 to 20 percent reduction is his already slashed budget for the coming fiscal year. And at some point those reductions are going to affect people because "...we're 85 percent people." Over the last eight years, according to Richardson, the LSU AgCenter is down over 800 employees mostly through attrition and a few layoffs.