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LSU AgCenter, Southern fete employees at combined conference

News Release Distributed 12/18/12

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter and Southern University Agricultural Center recognized staff and faculty members for outstanding service and research at a joint conference on Dec. 17-18.

Faculty members from the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service receiving the top individual awards were Debbie Melvin, a nutrition agent in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, and Andrew Granger, a county agent in Vermilion Parish. Recipients receiving the top individual research faculty awards were Steve Linscombe, a rice breeder at the Rice Research Station in Crowley, and Subramaniam Sathivel, a food engineer in the departments of Food Science and Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Team awards went to Karol Osborne, a 4-H agent in Madison Parish, and Johnny Morgan, a communication specialist, for a reading improvement project, and to weed scientists Jim Griffin, Donnie Miller, Dearl Sanders, Daniel Stephenson, Ron Strahan and Eric Webster for their work in preventing losses to Louisiana farmers from resistant weeds.

The awards presented to LSU AgCenter faculty in the LSU Union Theater on the LSU campus were:

–Extension Excellence Award: Debbie Melvin was recognized for her work in nutrition education and obesity prevention. She has instituted two programs, Smart Portions and Strong Women, which have improved the lives of participants by encouraging exercise and diet modification.

–Floyd S. Edmiston Award: Andrew Granger specializes in cattle production with some agricultural crop duties. He helped lead the area’s cattle response team during hurricanes Rita and Ike, and his efforts have helped reestablish the cattle industry to pre-storm levels.

–G & H Seed Company, Inc. Research Award: Subramaniam Sathivel has pioneered research in food safety and the preservation and of food products with an emphasis in seafood. He is working on the development of a safe, ready-to-eat microwavable oyster product and the purification of fish oil for use in pharmaceuticals and value-added foods.

–Doyle Chambers Research Award: Steve Linscombe was recognized as one of the most proficient breeders of rice varieties in the world. He has played a role in the release of 29 new rice varieties that have helped increase the yield capacity of rice in Louisiana from 4,500 pounds per acre to 6,400 hundred pounds in Louisiana.

–Denver T. and Ferne Loupe Extension Team Award: Karol Osborne and Johnny Morgan were acknowledged for the Reading to the Heart program that helped provide underserved children with reading material and access to technology. The program involves use of a mobile technology lab.

–Tipton Team Research Award: Team members were charged with identifying weeds that had developed resistance to herbicides and coming up with an effective treatment plan for controlling the weeds. Herbicide-resistant weeds can greatly reduce yields across many agronomic crops grown across the state. Team members housed on the Baton Rouge campus include Jim Griffin, Ron Strahan and Eric Webster. Other members were Donnie Miller, researcher at the Northeast Research Station in Tensas Parish; Dearl Sanders, researcher at the Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station in East Feliciana; and Daniel Stephenson, researcher at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Rapides Parish.

–Rosalie Bivin 4-H Youth Development Faculty Award: Adriana Drusini and Jennifer Ducote, 4-H agents in St. Mary Parish, received the award for a service-learning project that involved educating youth in the parish about the function and values of wetland and wildlife management. One part of the project focused on the role of the threatened Louisiana black bear, which is native to the area.

–Ganelle Bullock Outstanding Staff Service Award: Elaine Henderson, a human resource manager on the Baton Rouge campus, plays a key role in the implementation of human resource policies including promotion and tenure and other personnel transactions.

In addition, Herry Utomo, researcher at the Rice Research Station, was presented an award for the outstanding article of 2012 in Louisiana Agriculture, the quarterly magazine published by the AgCenter. His article concerned his work at seeding plants to help restore and repair Louisiana’s coast.

The Southern Agricultural Center recognized two individuals for receiving grants for promoting agriculture. Dawn Mellion-Patin, an agriculture and natural resource specialist, was the recipient of a Louisiana Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute grant that promotes the sustainability of Louisiana small family farms through enhanced business management skills and leadership development. De’Shoin Friendship York, an associate specialist in nutrition, received the Cooking Healthy Enjoyable Foods Youth Cooking Camp (CHEF) grant that promotes healthy lifestyles among youth by teaching them basic nutrition, food safety, food selection and food preparation skills.

Craig Gautreaux

Last Updated: 12/18/2012 10:09:47 AM

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