Bruce Schultz, Linscombe, Steven D. | 4/7/2009 12:29:39 AM
News Release Distributed 04/06/09
CROWLEY, La. – The 2009 USA Rice Leadership class toured the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station on April 2 during a two-day swing through Louisiana.
The class also toured the Durand family farm near St. Martinville, ate crawfish at farmer Christian Richard’s house, saw a rice mill in operation and got a first-hand look at the grain handling facilities at the Port of New Orleans, in addition to touring aspects of the Texas rice industry.
Steve Linscombe, director of the Rice Station, said he looks forward to hosting the class every year. “It gives us a chance to meet the future leaders of the industry.”
Linscombe gave the class an overview of the station, celebrating its centennial this year. He also outlined a history of how rice came to Louisiana.
Linscombe said rice acreage in coastal parishes may decline this year because of salt water brought by the storm surge of Hurricane Ike.
“It’s not going to be as big of a reduction as we thought it would be a month ago,” he said.
Class member Chad Duckworth of Jonesboro, Ark., said he had been looking forward to seeing the Rice Station.
“It’s amazing to me all the work that is done in the field to make recommendations to the growers,” he said.
Duckworth said the station’s development of 42 varieties in its 100-year history is impressive.
“In comparison to other universities, that is amazing,” he said. “Their varieties have really taken over Arkansas.”
The only class member from Louisiana is John Earles of Bunkie. Other class members include Kirk Satterfield of Mississippi; Brandon Bauman and Kyle Stovesand of Arkansas; and Josh Sheppard and Tom Butler, both of California. The program is sponsored by Syngenta and John Deere.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture