Ashley Keith Edwards
LSU AgCenter appoints animal agent for north, central Louisiana
By Karol Osborne,
ALEXANDRIA — The LSU AgCenter recently hired Ashley Keith Edwards as an extension agent and coordinator for regional animal science programs in the Central, Northwest and Northeast regions.
Edwards will have offices in all three regions and will support programming across a broad spectrum of animal science-related areas, including commercial operations, small herds and 4-H livestock activities.
Edwards is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. She earned a doctorate in 2015, focusing her dissertation on maternal nutrient restriction on ovine placental development.
Before joining the AgCenter, Edwards served as assistant professor of animal sciences at Louisiana Tech University.
A Central Texas native, Edwards grew up on a commercial cow-calf operation and was an avid 4-H and FFA member, competing in livestock judging and goat, lamb, hog and cattle shows.
“Growing up working with livestock was pretty much my entire focus,” she said, adding that she knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in animal sciences.
While her previous teaching role concentrated primarily on animal nutrition and livestock production, Edwards has an extensive research background in the integration of nutrition, reproduction and physiology in animal production.
“I am looking forward to having a more direct impact on livestock production working with producers to assess their needs and goals,” she said.
Edwards said she is eager to have a more hands-on approach working with industry and wants to hear from producers about potential programming emphases and implementation.
Her plans include working with producers to stimulate production and sales of local beef to promote Louisiana beef to local consumers and restaurants.
Edwards has previous experience coordinating events with AgCenter experts at the North Louisiana Livestock Show at Ag Expo in West Monroe, the Louisiana State Fair Livestock Show in Shreveport and the Louisiana Producer Artificial Insemination School at the AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station.
“I absolutely love working with youth,” she said, adding that her 4-H and FFA background working with extension agents and agriculture teachers inspires her to provide the same leadership for youth as she received from her former mentors and leaders.
Edwards and her husband, Chuck, will reside in Union Parish.