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September 6, 2007

ULM agriculture department implements state-of-the-art technology

In response to changes in the agricultural sector, the University of Louisiana at Monroe is instituting a new technology initiative in the Department of Agriculture.

The decision to incorporate new and practical applications of biotechnology, mapping software, and GPS/GIS technologies into the Agribusiness curriculum demonstrates ULM’s participation in the latest industry developments. The university is committed to exposing its students to state-of-the-art demonstrations in field laboratory situations and experiences related to farm management, said James Casey, head of the Department of Agriculture.“This development in our program keeps the students competitive in an increasingly difficult marketplace.”

To provide the necessary technology demands of Agribusiness, the university will no longer commit financial resources to non-academic activities, such as breeding and boarding thoroughbred horses, activities which have not been financially feasible in the past. With assistance from prominent community members, the horse herd will be winnowed and the proceeds used to fund the department’s technology initiative. The remaining horses will still contribute to the running of the animal science minor, as well as to courses in equine therapy in continuing education.

Jeffrey Cass, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, calls this new programming the“best possible outcome” for students pursuing a career in Agribusiness and the most efficient stewarding of state dollars. “The university is first and foremost an academic enterprise,” Cass said, “and we must honor that trust that the taxpayers have given us by maintaining quality programs with all available resources."

For more information, call Casey at (318) 342-1768 or e-mail him at or call Cass at (318) 342-1754 or e-mail him at

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