LSU AgCenter names new head of Audubon Sugar Institute

Richard Bogren  |  10/11/2008 12:55:17 AM

News Release Distributed 10/10/08

The LSU AgCenter recently named Dr. Ben Legendre to head its Audubon Sugar Institute in St. Gabriel.

Legendre, who had been serving as interim head as well as state sugarcane specialist since March 2007, was given the permanent appointment effective Oct. 1.

He will continue to serve as interim sugarcane specialist during the search to fill that position, said Dr. David Boethel, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.

Legendre has 36 years of research and extension experience in the genetic improvement of sugarcane and cane and juice quality with state and federal organizations. He served as research leader for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Sugarcane Research Unit, Southern Regional Research Center in Houma, La., for 11 years prior to joining the LSU AgCenter in 2000 as sugarcane specialist and professor.

An international authority on sugarcane breeding and sugarcane quality, Legendre is recognized for his work on plant growth regulators as chemical ripeners.

In 2005 he was named Denver T. Loupe/American Society of Sugarcane Technologists Sugar Heritage Professor in the LSU AgCenter.

“We are grateful for Dr. Legendre’s dual service,” Boethel said. “His grandfather, father and brother were involved in the sugarcane milling industry, so he has long been associated with the processing side of the industry.”

During his tenure at Audubon, Legendre and the faculty have worked not only to improve milling efficiency but also have enhanced efforts to develop value-added products for sugarcane, including the development of alternative fuels, Boethel added.

The Audubon Sugar Institute in St. Gabriel provides research and technical service to Louisiana’s agricultural industries, primarily cane sugar processing. The full-service unit includes six laboratories, a specialized library, a pilot facility and a machine shop.

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

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