4 LSU AgCenter Faculty Members Named To Endowed Positions

Richard Bogren  |  9/7/2006 1:47:45 AM

News Release Distributed 09/06/06

Four members of the LSU AgCenter faculty were named to positions of distinction – an endowed chair and endowed professorships in their areas of expertise.

Dr. Rogers Leonard was named to the Jack Hamilton Chair in Cotton Production, while Dr. Alexander M. "Sandy" Stewart was named to the Tom and Martha Burch and Delta and Pine Land Co. Endowed Professorship in Extension Cotton Production and Genetics. In addition, Dr. Don Boquet was named to the Jack E. and Henrietta Jones Endowed Professorship in Cotton Genetics, Production and/or Physiology, and Dr. Mike Stout was named to the L.D. Newsom Professorship in Integrated Pest Management.

"We’re pleased to be able to reward our outstanding faculty members with honors such as these," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Dr. Bill Richardson. "An endowed professorship has significant value in attracting, encouraging and retaining faculty members who display outstanding performance in research and scholarship. "Professorships offer the prestige of recognition, and the supplementary stipend provides a tangible reward for merit," he added.

Endowed chairs are funded by private contributions of $600,000 and matching funds of $400,000 from the Louisiana State Board of Regents. Endowed professorships are funded by private contributions of $60,000 matched by $40,000 from the Board of Regents.

The subsequent endowments of $1 million and $100,000 are invested, and the income from the investments is used to support research and educational programs by providing funds for such purposes as faculty travel, student workers or salary supplements.

Leonard, an entomologist at the LSU AgCenter’s Macon Ridge Research Station at Winnsboro, focuses his research on the development and implementation of insect pest management strategies in corn, cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans.

He received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from LSU and has been on the faculty of the AgCenter since 1990. He previously was a crop consultant in private practice in St. Joseph, La.

The Jack Hamilton Chair in Cotton Production, was created by the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association, the Louisiana Independent Cotton Warehouse Association and the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association to honor Jack Hamilton of Lake Providence.

Hamilton, who died in December 2001, was a cotton producer and ginner. He was an organizer and first president of the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association and served as president of the Louisiana Cotton Warehouse Association and the Southern Cotton Ginners Association. He also held such honors as being named Man of the Year in service to Louisiana agriculture by Progressive Farmer Magazine, being selected as Cotton Ginner of the Year by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and receiving the Horace Hayden Memorial Trophy as National Ginner of the Year.

Stewart, a native of North Carolina, joined the faculty of the LSU AgCenter in 2000. His initial responsibilities were for cotton research in Central Louisiana, and he has since taken on additional responsibilities as the statewide extension cotton specialist for the AgCenter.

"I am humbled to be named the first recipient of the Burch Professorship," Stewart said. "Louisiana has a number of excellent and talented scientists working with cotton, so I consider it an honor.

"In addition, Dr. Burch served for many years as the extension cotton specialist in Louisiana," he added. "The cotton specialists group around the country is a tight one that communicates and works together well, so a professorship in his honor is especially meaningful."

Stewart, who is based at the AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University.

The Tom and Martha Burch and Delta and Pine Land Co. Professorship was funded by gift of land from the Burches and a matching pledge from Delta and Pine Land Co.

Burch was cotton specialist with the LSU AgCenter for 33 years – serving longer than anyone else in such a capacity in the United States.

While with the AgCenter, Burch developed and implemented cotton educational programs based on the latest research-based technology. He received the National Cotton Extension Educational Award in 1989 and was selected by his peers across the cotton-growing states as Cotton Specialist of the Year in 1992. After retiring from the AgCenter in 1996, Burch joined Delta and Pine Land Co. as director of professional relations.

Founded in 1911, Delta and Pine Land has been a major influence on the cotton industry in Louisiana and across the South. It began cotton variety research in 1915, and for many years its varieties were planted on most of Louisiana’s cotton acres. In recent years the company has led in developing cotton varieties with genetic resistance to certain insect pests and to certain herbicides.

Boquet, who was selected for the Jones professorship, has been at the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph and its Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro since 1976. His research focuses on production systems and management practices for cotton, soybeans and grain crops to increase productivity or profitability of cropping systems under irrigated and non-irrigated culture.

"I am especially pleased to be selected to receive the Jack and Henrietta Jones Professorship in Agronomy, because Dr. Jack Jones was a highly respected and productive agronomist for many years," Boquet said. "During his career with the AgCenter, he was – and actually still is – recognized as one of the most successful cotton breeders in the United States.

"It will be an honor and a privilege to be associated with a professorship established in his name during my career with the LSU AgCenter."

A native of Bourg, La., Boquet received his bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from LSU.

Jones, a retired cotton researcher in the LSU AgCenter, is known throughout Louisiana, the United States and the world for his research in altering the genetics of cotton. A Georgia native, Jones received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and earned his doctorate at LSU.

Jones served on the LSU faculty in the Department of Agronomy from 1950 until his retirement in 1988. During his 38 years there, he was regarded as an outstanding cotton geneticist and plant breeder, receiving numerous awards and recognitions for his research.

Henrietta Jones also contributed to the cotton research program at LSU, serving for many years as a laboratory assistant in the LSU AgCenter’s Cotton Fiber Laboratory.

A native of California, Stout, who was named to the Newsom professorship, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkley and his doctorate from the University of California, Davis. His research covers such topics as management of insect pests of rice, the biochemical and physiological bases of plant resistance to insects, induced resistance to insects, and management of mosquitoes in rice fields.

Stout also is a graduate of the LSU AgCenter’s Agricultural Leadership Development Program and has lectured in both China and Thailand on rice pest management.

"It is a tremendous honor to have been chosen for this professorship, especially given the quality of the entomology faculty at LSU," Stout said. "I appreciate the opportunities that the LSU AgCenter has given me."

Dr. L. Dale Newsom, for whom the professorship is named, had a long and prestigious teaching and research career as professor and head of the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Entomology. He was co-developer of the boll weevil diapause control strategy – a major component of the boll weevil eradication program.

"Dr. Newsom was a pioneer in the area of integrated pest management, which is a scientifically, environmentally and ecologically sound approach to controlling pests," Stout said. "It is a tribute to the efforts of Dr. Newsom and others like him that the principles underlying integrated pest management have been almost universally accepted by entomologists, plant pathologists and others concerned with crop protection."

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Writer: Rick Bogren at (225) 578-5839 or rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

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