Russell earns Distinguished Service Ag award

Mar 3, 2022 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News

Louisiana Tech Supervisor of Farm Operations and Instructor Waggoner Russell, who’s made a positive difference for students on South Campus for 32 years, was recently awarded the 2021 Distinguished Service to North Louisiana Agriculture Award.

For his “outstanding contributions over many years to the agricultural community,” Russell was recognized by The North Louisiana Agri-Business Council at its annual Agricultural Awards and Legislative Appreciation Luncheon at the West Monroe Convention Center.

“Given the criteria for this award — 10 or more years of agriculture service, significant contributions to agriculture, a leader in agriculture and community affairs, and exhibiting good moral values conducive to individual and family growth — I can think of no one who is more deserving of this prestigious award,” said Dr. Gary Kennedy, Dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. “Through the years, Waggoner has promoted agriculture and has supported agriculture through involvement with agriculture and forestry faculty, college students, high students, and other youth.

“He is involved in every agriculture-related event we sponsor or participate in, including the AG Expo, FFA career development events, 4-H activities, Poinsettia Sales that benefit scholarships, the Tech Farm Production Sale, and many other events and activities. Waggoner’s selection for this award is an excellent reflection on the agricultural industry and the North Louisiana Agri-Business Council.”

A native of Winnsboro, Russell came to Tech in the fall of 1989 to earn his graduate degree in botany.

“I got a 10-hours-a-week student job at the vegetable garden at Tech Farm and graduated in 1991 with my master’s,” Russell said. “I’ve been at Tech since.”

His quiet efficiency has influenced not only generations of Tech students but also many more agriculture-interested neighbors.

“Waggoner does not seek attention for his actions or expect rewards for his service,” said Dr. Mark Murphey, Academic Program Chair of Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural Sciences Endowed Professor. “He does his job far beyond the requirements and often without recognition. He is well respected and loved by members of the farming community, area gardeners, and his students at Tech.

“Agriculture is fortunate to have many people who have impacted the health and well-being of others through hard word and a dedication to help where and when help is needed. Waggoner is one of those people. He makes Tech, north Louisiana, and the world a better place.”

“In addition, he assists other faculty and students on numerous research and scholarly projects,” Kennedy said. “Waggoner supports the total agriculture teaching mission of the School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry at Tech by effectively teaching courses such as Forage Crops and Pasture Management, as well as assisting several other faculty members with classes that utilize Tech Farm. Waggoner always conducts himself in a moral manner, exhibits good judgment, and has a positive attitude that represents agriculture and Louisiana Tech University well.”

Russell is carrying on a family tradition; Bill Russell, his father, won the same Distinguished Service to North Louisiana Agriculture Award in 2005. A loyal, sincere Tech supporter, Bill Russell retired as a County Agent in 1998.