By Tobie Blanchard, LSU AgCenter
Two new faculty members, Crystal Ahrens and Tyler Braud, plan to expand 4-H and the LSU AgCenter and College of Agriculture School of Animal Sciences livestock programs.
Ahrens, 4-H youth development livestock specialist, will be a resource for 4-H agents working with youth on animal projects and teach undergraduate courses. Braud, an instructor in the School of Animal Sciences, will assist with the 4-H livestock program, mainly during the summer.
Originally from Arkansas, Ahrens wants to build more livestock opportunities into 4-H University, an event held annually each June on the LSU campus. She has worked in the animal industry, training feedlot workers on quality assurance and as an animal welfare specialist. She has also worked on the academic side as an instructor and livestock judging coach in Wilburton, Oklahoma. She said this job combines her passions.
“This is my dream job,” Ahrens said. “I’ve always wanted to get into extension, and to get to do it at a big land-grant university is an exciting opportunity.”
Braud grew up showing beef cattle in Ascension Parish. While a student in the LSU College of Agriculture, he was active in the Block and Bridle Club and served as a student worker at the horse and sheep research units. He was an agriculture and natural resources and 4-H extension agent in Mississippi before returning to LSU.
“I would like to see undergraduate students more involved in student organizations and taking advantage of educational opportunities, such as judging and quiz bowl teams,” Braud said. “Our department offers a wide variety of opportunities for students to become involved and gain valuable skills and knowledge related to animal agriculture.”