Winter 2024 LSU AgCenter News

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Famoso Named Director of LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station

A man stands in flooded field and speaks into a microphone.

Adam Famoso was named resident director and research coordinator of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley.

Famoso, a rice breeder who has been central to the station’s variety development efforts, assumed the role Jan. 1. He now oversees an acclaimed research facility where scientists not only create new rice varieties but also study strategies for managing pests and overcoming agronomic challenges — work that is critical to keeping farmers profitable.

Rice has an annual economic impact of more than $550 million in Louisiana. And the benefits of the station’s research can be seen in countries around the world where rice is a staple crop. Famoso came to the AgCenter in 2015. A native of New Jersey, he earned his doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from Cornell University in 2010. He previously worked for DuPont Pioneer (Corteva).

Kurt Guidry, an economist and the previous resident director, is now an assistant resident director providing support to Famoso and helping lead station operations.

■ Olivia McClure

Louisiana Rice Specialist Receives National Rice Award

A man wearing a suit and tie poses with a plaque.

For four decades and in various roles with the LSU AgCenter, Ronnie 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.

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.

■ Tobie Blanchard

Sun Joseph Chang, AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources Scientist, Named a Fellow by Society of American Foresters

The Society of American Foresters named Sun Joseph Chang, a scientist at LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources, as one of 32 fellows inducted in 2023.

The fellowship represents one of the highest honors for members of the society. It is an exceptional recognition bestowed on a member by their peers for outstanding contributions and service to the Society of American Foresters and the profession.

Chang is the first professor at LSU AgCenter School of Renewable Natural Resources to be so recognized in more than 42 years.

Chang had already been a longtime member of the society before he came to work at LSU in 1991. He first joined the society in 1975 as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin.

At LSU, Chang teaches renewable natural resource policy, forest economics and forest management on campus as well as silvicultural prescriptions off campus during a spring camp.

In addition, he conducts research on forest management, forest economics, forest taxation and sawing optimization.

■ Johnny Morgan

3/11/2024 7:47:16 PM
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