PotashCorp donation to fund LSU AgCenter Livestock Show awards

Linda Benedict  |  11/14/2016 3:47:26 PM

(11/11/16) BATON ROUGE, La. – The PotashCorp fertilizer plant in Geismar has donated $50,000 to fund showmanship awards at the annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show.

A PotashCorp donation of $40,000 in 2015 established an endowment to fund Senior Champion Showman awards of $250. This year’s donation expands the awards to the intermediate and junior Champion Showman winners in all eight categories: dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, exhibition poultry, broiler poultry, sheep, breeding goats and market goats.

Intermediate- and junior-level winners will now receive awards of $125 each.

Along with Gerry Lane Enterprises, PotashCorp will be a co-presenting sponsor of the 2017 Livestock Show, which is set for Feb. 11 to 18 at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.

Garry Hiebert, human resources manager at the PotashCorp facility in Geismar, said the Livestock Show fits his company’s corporate model to advance the agriculture industry while encouraging young people to develop leadership qualities that will benefit their communities.

Participating in the Livestock Show teaches lessons such as responsibility and time management, Hiebert said. Because those skills are valuable as children grow up and become adults, it is important to recognize their efforts, he said.

“You can tell that through 4-H and FFA, they’ve learned how to communicate, the soft skills, leadership, the time commitment, keeping their grades up,” he said. “All those things, whether they stay in agriculture or not, are things that you’re going to look for in the business world, that are going to make good employees and future leaders.”

Unlike other events in which contestants are judged mostly by their animals’ performance, showmanship contests focus on exhibitors’ presentation and sportsmanship.

“The kids have a commitment to their animals all year long – it takes that to win the showmanship award,” said Misty Bonfanti, a PotashCorp human resources specialist.

The LSU AgCenter Livestock Show, the largest agriculture event in Louisiana, has been held annually for more than 80 years. 4-H and FFA students from around the state participate in the weeklong event.

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The PotashCorp fertilizer plant in Geismar has donated $50,000 that will fund showmanship awards at the annual LSU AgCenter Livestock Show. From left to right, Misty Bonfanti, PotashCorp human resources specialist; Vickie Hutchinson, Livestock Show development director; Garry Hiebert, PotashCorp human resources manager; Bill Richardson, LSU vice president for agriculture; and Lindsey Kelly and Lindsey Fussell, both AgCenter development officers. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

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