AgCenter awarded $10M grant for Louisiana rice industry sustainability
An LSU AgCenter scientist was awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve sustainability and profitability of rice farming through research innovations that advance climate-resilient crops.
While rice production contributes $550 million to Louisiana’s economy, extreme weather patterns due to climate change pose serious challenges to enhancing productivity. The project outcomes aim to help rice growers in the southern U.S. make the right decisions at the right time to reduce yield losses, land use, water and energy consumption.
Knowledge gained from the project will increase the speed and accuracy of identifying rice genotypes with desirable combinations of genes for improved adaptation to a changing climate.
AgCenter nutrition educator receives state service award
Donna Landry, a nutrition educator in the AgCenter School of Nutrition and Food Sciences Department in Tangipahoa Parish, received the 2022 Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award from the Louisiana Civil Service League.
Landry is part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program and works with numerous schools, churches, community centers, senior centers, food distribution sites and community partners to bring research-based nutrition education programs to people across Tangipahoa parish.
The Dunbar Award is the highest honor classified state employees can receive for service to the people of Louisiana.
Fund developed to increase sugarcane production
Harry L. Laws & Company, the majority owner of the Catherine Sugar Company, is creating a nonendowed fund to further research at the LSU AgCenter Sugar Research Station in St. Gabriel.
The $250,000 fund, which will be known as the Harry L. Laws & Co. Sugarcane Molecular Research Fund, will provide support to the AgCenter relating to molecular research in sugarcane at the Sugar Research Station, the School of Plant Environment and Soil Sciences, and the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, which includes equipment purchases.
Kenneth Gravois, AgCenter sugarcane specialist, said gifts such as the research fund provided by Harry L. Laws & Co. support an ongoing molecular breeding project.
LSU AgCenter names new directors for research, extension
The LSU AgCenter has named two well-established leaders to key director positions.
Michael Salassi will serve as interim executive associate vice president and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, and Tara Smith will serve as interim executive associate vice president and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.
In these positions, Salassi and Smith will support the statewide efforts of research and extension.
Prasanta Subudhi, LSU AgCenter crop geneticist, received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop climate-resilient rice. LSU AgCenter file photo
Donna Landry, a nutrition educator in Tangipahoa Parish, received the 2022 Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award from the Louisiana Civil Service League.