Louisiana’s rice specialist receives national rice award

(01/12/24) BATON ROUGE, La. — Ronnie Levy knows rice. For four decades and in various roles with the LSU AgCenter, Levy has helped Louisiana farmers grow many of the state’s economically important crops, but much of the focus has been on what is the backbone of so many Louisiana dishes — rice.

For his contributions to the rice industry throughout his career, Levy received the 2023 Rice Industry Award from USA Rice, Horizon Ag and Rice Farming magazine on Dec. 7 at the 2023 Rice Outlook Conference in Palm Springs, California.

“Dr. Levy’s vast knowledge and experience of rice production in Louisiana makes him a critical component of the LSU AgCenter’s rice research and extension program and a tremendous resource in his service to the Louisiana rice industry,” said Mike Salassi, LSU AgCenter executive associate vice president and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station.

Levy began his career with the LSU AgCenter in 1979, as a county agent in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes, working with the area’s youth through the 4-H program. He also worked as the county agent in Acadia Parish, guiding the parish’s rich agricultural and natural resource enterprises. He worked with many rice producers over the years in Acadia. He planned educational programs, sent out educational material and made farm visits to rice producers. He also served as Louisiana’s soybean, corn and grain sorghum specialist.

He currently is the state’s rice specialist and oversees the Louisiana Rice Verification program. In this capacity, he has helped translate the vital research conducted at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station into valuable knowledge for rice producers across the state.

Levy travels across Louisiana assisting rice farmers and extension agents on the best management practices that are vital to producing viable, profitable and sustainable rice crops year after year.

His work also benefits the U.S. rice industry. He serves as a technical adviser for the USA Rice Federation committees focusing on sustainability, marketability and competitiveness, and regulatory and food safety.

“The Rice Industry Award was such an honor,” Levy said. “Rice is so important to Southwest Louisiana and to consumers throughout the world. It was very rewarding to be recognized by the rice industry.”

Ronnie Levy at the podium Awards Luncheon

Ronnie Levy, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, speaks at the awards luncheon during the 2023 Rice Outlook Conference in Palm Springs, California. Levy received the Rice Industry Award for contributions to rice production in the U.S. Photo provided by Ronnie Levy

Rice Industry Award Ronnie Levy

Ronnie Levy was presented with the Rice Industry Award at the 2023 Rice Outlook Conference in Palm Springs, California, on Dec. 7. Levy has been with the AgCenter for 44 years and serves as the state’s rice specialist. Photo provided by Ronnie Levy

1/12/2024 7:25:58 PM
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