Steven Linscombe, Schultz, Bruce | 1/26/2007 1:13:30 AM
CROWLEY – The new 13-member Louisiana Rice Research Board took the oath of office in mid-January.
The board oversees the use of check-off funds from rice farmers, which are assessed at the rate of 5 cents per hundredweight of rice and are to be used for research. In recent years, it has provided more than $1 million annually to fund LSU AgCenter projects at the AgCenter’s Rice Research Station and other locations.
The board includes new members Linda Zaunbrecher of Gueydan, Sammy Noel of Abbeville, Dane Hebert of Maurice, Fred Zaunbrecher of Duson, Clarence Berken of Lake Arthur and Donald Berken of Welsh.
Existing board members reappointed to new terms are Bobby Miller of Eunice, Johnny Hensgens of Lake Charles, Wayne Wild of Crowley, Johnny Boudreaux of Abbeville, Brian Wild of Welsh, Richard Fontenot of Ville Platte and Jackie Loewer of Branch.
The board members were appointed by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and they were sworn into office by Acadia Parish Clerk of Court Robbie Barousse.
In addition to the swearing-in ceremonies, the board also heard an overview of its finances from accountant Kyle McCann, and Dr. Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station, gave a briefing of ongoing research projects.
This year’s research budget is set at $1.3 million, a decrease of more than $150,000 from last year.
A five-year renewal of the check-off funds will be considered by rice producers who are scheduled to vote in a referendum on Jan. 30. Voting will be held from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the LSU AgCenter extension offices of major rice producing parishes. Mail-in ballots will be used in parishes with fewer than 30 growers.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture