Rice Specialist Receives National Honor

Linda Benedict  |  4/5/2005 1:15:04 AM

A rice specialist with the LSU AgCenter, Johnny Saichuk, has won the prestigious 2003 Rice Industry Award, sponsored by Rice Farming Magazine, Syngenta and the USA Rice Federation.

The award was presented during the 2003 Rice Outlook Conference in December 2003 in Biloxi, Miss. The award honors individuals who make valuable contributions to the U.S. rice industry. The awards committee picked Saichuk for outstanding work bringing extension programs to rice producers in Louisiana and helping deliver the latest in agricultural research to farmers.

Saichuk oversees the LSU AgCenter’s rice verification program, an on-going effort in which selected rice fields are monitored and farmers get advice on overcoming problems as they occur. Saichuk works out of the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station in Crowley, but spends much of his time on the road, walking rice fields and advising farmers.

The rice verification program will be starting its seventh year and continues to be popular with rice farmers.

LSU AgCenter County Agent Howard Cormier works side by side with Saichuk in rice fields in Vermilion Parish.

“Johnny is smart enough to make things simple,” said Cormier, a 2002 Rice Award winner. “He can converse with the researchers on technical terms, and he has the ability to make things clear for the farmers.”

Randy McClain

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