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Donnie Miller, a professor of weed science, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Association during its annual meeting on Dec. 6 in Alexandria. Miller has been working with the sweet potato industry for over 15 years, conducting weed management research applicable to sweet potato producers and the industry. He has been instrumental is evaluating the efficacy of labeled and novel herbicides for use on sweet potatoes. His most recent research has resulted in a label for Reflex herbicide for use on the crop. Miller is a key member of the LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research and Extension Team. He has been with the AgCenter for over 28 years and is housed at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph.

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Stacia Conger, state Extension irrigation specialist, received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers State Section Engineer of the Year award. Since 2014, Dr. Conger has held the position of assistant professor of irrigation engineering at the LSU AgCenter located at the Red River Research Station in Bossier City. Her current responsibilities include state-wide extension (80%) and research (20%) related to irrigation scheduling and technological advancements in agriculture, landscape and horticultural applications. She is involved in multiple organizations including the Irrigation Association and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at both the state and national levels.

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LSU AgCenter Seeds to Success Program received the top honor during the Farm Credit MarketMaker Innovations Awards at the 2023 National Agricultural Marketing Summit in Arlington, Virginia, on Nov. 13.

This award recognizes outstanding efforts by state and local MarketMaker collaborations around the country that contribute to the development of local and regional food systems and help farmers connect to new market opportunities.

Louisiana Farm to School Program’s earned this honor with an entry titled, “Outreach in the Digital Age.” MarketMaker has long been a resource for Seeds to Success: The Louisiana’s Farm to School program, but they have recently increased their digital outreach efforts to increase awareness of MarketMaker as a connector between schools and Louisiana farmers.

Accepting the award on behalf of LSU AgCenter was Tyne Bankester, LSU Farm to School Program Coordinator.
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Zhi-Yuan Chen, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, has been awarded the American Cyanamid Professorship in Plant Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Crop Pest Management. This professorship was established to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of faculty members within the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station who have demonstrated excellence in biotechnology to improve the competitive advantage of major agronomic or horticultural crops. Chen’s research focuses on applying biotechnology and molecular biology in crop pest management. His work helps growers manage diseases such as aflatoxin contamination in corn and Cercospora leaf blight in soybeans.


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Lawrence Datnoff, head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, recently signed copies of his book, “Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease” second edition, at the American Phytopathological Society (APS) annual conference. The first edition of this work was published in 2007 and won a Choice Award in 2008, as one of the best scientific titles of the year. The book combines the disciplines of nutrition and pathology.

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The National Association of County Agricultural Agents held its annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 12-17. Several LSU AgCenter agents were recognized at the meeting. National winners included LSU AgCenter consumer horticulturist Heather Kirk-Ballard (pictured at right) for the Achievement Award and LSU AgCenter extension agent Jeremy Hebert for the Distinguished Service Award.

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Jeb Fields, assistant research coordinator at the Hammond Research Station, received the 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award for Nursery Crops Research from the American Society for Horticultural Science. This award is given to the most impactful nursery crops researcher each year. Fields’ Ph.D. student Kristopher Criscione came in second place in the Floriculture Graduate Student Competition, which was sponsored by the American Floral Endowment.

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LSU Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Academic Bowl team included professor Jarrod Penn (coach), and students Colin Raby, Daniel Harris, Andrew Meche, Mattie Thrasher, Samuel Palencia and Kristy Brodersen.

LSU Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Academic Bowl team achieved an outstanding double victory at the 2023 AAES annual national competition held in Washington, D.C. LSU had two teams which placed first and second in the bowl. National championship teams were comprised of Samuel Palencia, Andrew Meche, and Daniel Harris on team one and Colin Raby, Mattie Thrasher, and Krissy Brodersen on team two. They beat out 32 teams from institutions across the nation.

The LSU sweep at this national competition showcases the talent and dedication of the university's Ag Econ trivia team. Each year, AAEA sponsors an academic bowl competition for undergraduate students at the AAEA annual conference.

Also at AAEA, LSU student Daniel Harris placed first in the AAEA annual conference research paper competition.

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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