Message from the Dean | College of Agricultural Sciences | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Message from the Dean

Mickey LatourWelcome to the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale!

As Dean of the College, I am pleased to invite you to take a closer look at us—our people, our programs, and our location here in Southern Illinois.

Our faculty and staff are the strength of this college, and you will find outstanding programs and staff to guide you through a journey of higher education at SIUC.  Our faculty are recognized both nationally and internationally for their outstanding programs.  We have faculty with Ph.D.s from major universities across the nation who bring the best in their discipline to the classroom and research laboratory.  And we have a dedicated and hard-working team of support staff who keep our farm centers, offices and laboratories productive.  Faculty and staff strive to give students the personal attention they deserve. 

At SIUC, we offer traditional agriculture degree programs you would expect like agribusiness economics, animal science, pre-veterinary medicine, equine science, and crop production.  We also have programs in human nutrition dietetics, hospitality and tourism, pre-law, sales and marketing, landscape design, outdoor recreation, and forestry.  As a college, we plan to move forward with strategic initiatives to create unique academic “enrichment” blocks of opportunities for students to be highly engaged in hands-on learning activities.  Enrichment experiences may take place on the Carbondale campus, around the state or nation, and could even include international opportunities.  The College has four departments, seven majors and 25 specialty areas for students to choose from.  For those with a desire to learn, we offer an academic experience that will take them as far as they want to go.

Our research programs are impressive.  Over the past year, the college obtained many sponsored grants for work in the areas of soybean production and utilization, water quality, sustainable practices, local foods, wildlife habitats, biofuels, and international agriculture.  Additionally, the college received two additional grants from the Howard Buffett Foundation to investigate effects of long term sustainable agricultural practices.  Signature areas of excellence include human nutrition and wellness, soybean production, biotechnology and genomics, animal nutrition, renewable energy, weed science, rural economic development, outdoor recreation, water quality, and forest resource management.  Research faculty members continue to aggressively identify global problems and concerns, and secure funding to complete research to find solutions.  We believe that at SIU, big things will always be within reach!

The College of Agricultural Sciences has a 2,000 acre research and teaching farm system near the campus.  The facilities serve as the hub for our teaching and research programs.  We have centers for beef, dairy, equine, swine, agronomy, horticulture, turfgrass, a tree improvement center, a sustainability center, and a bull test station.  The centers provide real world, hands-on experience for our students in addition to providing opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research.  We believe a top-tier education should also be a hands-on experience.

Additionally, the College of Agricultural Sciences at SIUC is blessed with outstanding alumni and industry partners.  We call on our College Leadership Board to help guide and support the College teaching, research and outreach programs.  The board meets to critique our curriculum, research programs, facilities, farms, and capital campaign.  They strive to enhance faculty teaching and research and have provided great ideas and support. 

In summary, the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University is providing futuristic degree programs for our students that lead to satisfying and productive careers. We continue to focus on teaching and mentorship even as we pursue cutting-edge research.  Our research and outreach programs are generating knowledge and disseminating results that add economic value and improve the quality of life for people around the world.  Thank you for visiting with us, and if I can be of assistance, please feel free to stop by for a visit. 

Sincerely,

Mickey A. Latour, Dean
College of Agricultural Sciences