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Panelist Bio


Dr. Michael E. Salassi
Professor, LSU Agricultural Center

Michael Salassi is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness in the LSU Agricultural Center, serving since 1994.

He has a 10% teaching appointment with the LSU A&M campus, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in quantitative business decision analysis. The remaining 90% of his academic appointment is with the LSU Agricultural Center where he conducts research and extension activities in crop production economics and farm business management.

He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University and his doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University. Prior to returning to LSU, Dr. Salassi worked with USDA’s Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C.

His research focuses specifically on the economics of rice and sugar production in Louisiana. He has worked closely with various sectors of those industries in evaluating the economic impacts of issues relating to farm management, crop production and marketing, environmental regulations, commodity market structure and performance, and domestic farm policy. In addition, he is also involved in evaluating the economic feasibility of utilizing alternative feedstocks to produce ethanol and other biofuels in Louisiana.

His many awards include the LSU AgCenter Nelson Fairbanks Endowed Professorship and the Administrator’s Honor Award from USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Salassi is married to Brenda Salassi, who serves as the Coordinator of the Law Clinic within the LSU Law School. They have a daughter Lauren, who is majoring in Business at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, and a son Preston, who will be a senior at Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge.

Current Topic


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Monday, February 20)

Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

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     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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