LSU AgCenter Honors Outstanding Faculty Staff Members

Kenneth Gautreaux, Claesgens, Mark A.  |  11/30/2006 12:51:16 AM

News Release Distributed 12/12/2003

BATON ROUGE – The LSU AgCenter honored four individuals and a team of research faculty members with its top awards during ceremonies Monday (Dec. 15) on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.

Recognition also went to one individual and a team of 18 LSU AgCenter faculty members, who were nominated for U.S. Department of Agriculture Honor Awards. In addition, two AgCenter support staff members received awards for their outstanding performance.

The awards were presented during the LSU AgCenter’s 2003 annual conference in the LSU Union Theater on campus in Baton Rouge.

Recipients of the LSU AgCenter’s top awards for faculty members were Shannan Zaunbrecher, who received the AgCenter’s Excellence in Extension Award; Dr. Michael Stout, the Rogers Excellence in Research Award; Dr. Kenneth Whitam, the Floyd S. Edmiston Award; Dr. Richard Goyer, the Doyle Chambers Research Award; and the Rice Variety Development Team, the Tipton Team Research Award.

Zaunbrecher is a 4-H agent in Vermilion Parish. She learned the importance of 4-H through her participation in the youth group while growing up in Gueydan, and she credits the success of 4-H to its unique combination of educational activities with some "good, old-fashioned fun." Zaunbrecher also is active in her community and will serve as recruiting coordinator for this year’s Relay for Life event for Vermilion Parish.

Stout was recognized for his work in the area of entomology. Much of his research has focused on finding an alternative to the pesticide Furadan for combating the rice water weevil – the No. 1 insect pest of rice. Stout also is active in finding ways to control mosquito breeding in rice fields, which may lead to a reduction in both mosquitoes and cases of diseases, such as West Nile virus.

Whitam serves as a plant pathologist for the LSU AgCenter and has nearly 30 years of experience in the field. He is responsible for the diagnosis of plant diseases and making recommendations for treatment. Whitam has helped producers save both money and their crops through suggestions that have led them to use more disease-resistant plant varieties and chemical treatments, when necessary.

Goyer is an entomologist who specializes in forest pests. A native of the Northeast, Goyer was drawn to Louisiana by the allure of the southern forests. Most of his research focuses on damaging insects, such as the southern pine bark beetle and the forest tent caterpillar. Because of his expertise, Goyer serves as the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s forest pest advisor. A unique accomplishment is having an insect named after him. Archips goyerana is a pest of the southern bald cypress and its common name is the bald cypress leafroller.

The LSU AgCenter’s Rice Variety Development Team, based at the Rice Research Station in Crowley, is charged with developing breeds of rice that are high yielding, disease resistant and good tasting. The team is responsible for the release of 13 major rice varieties in the past 10 years, and one of those – Cocodrie, which was released in 1998 – is the most widely grown variety in the South. Varieties developed by the team account for nearly two-thirds of all the rice grown in the South, and these varieties have increased rice yields by nearly 15 percent in the past five years.

The members are Dr. Steve Linscombe, senior rice breeder; Dr. Qi Ren Chu, rice breeder and anther culture program; Dr. Xueyan Sha, specialty and medium-grain rice breeder; Dr. Don Groth, plant pathologist; Dr. Pat Bollich, agronomist; Dr. Richard Dunand, plant physiologist; and Larry White, overseer for the Foundation Seed program.

Those nominated for the USDA Honor Awards include an individual nominated for two different awards and a team of LSU AgCenter agents from Northeast Louisiana nominated for another award.

LSU AgCenter agent Aubrey Posey of Washington Parish was nominated for two USDA awards – one for Supporting Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural Areas and the other for Heroism and Emergency Response. The nominations were made because of Posey’s outstanding efforts to improve milk production practices for dairy farmers, help them use land and resources more wisely, create safer work environments, increase recreational opportunities and improve the standard of living for residents of Washington and adjacent parishes.

The group nomination went to 18 LSU AgCenter agents known as the North Delta Community Initiative Response team. Led by LSU AgCenter Northeast Region project coordinator Dr. Floyda Jan Hicks, this team was nominated for the USDA award in the category of Supporting Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural Areas.

The team of family and consumer sciences agents and 4-H agents tackled the problems of adult and youth literacy, youth delinquency; family stability and wage improvement in East Carroll, Tensas, Madison, Richland and Franklin parishes. Other team members were regional director Dr. Robert L. Hutchinson of St. Joseph; Dr. Becky White, Baton Rouge; Debbie Bairnsfather, Winnsboro; Harriet Bridges and Krishanda Mayers, both of Lake Providence; Kayla Sevier and Irwin James Hendrix, both of St. Joseph; Berteal Rogers and Karol Osborne, both of Tallulah; Joannna Strong, Rayville; Danna Gillett, Monroe; Mary V. Boutwell, Addie Bolton, Yvonne Goodman and Jamie Johnson, all of Winnsboro; Kimberly Evans, Jena; and Shelia Haynes, Oak Grove;

In addition to those awards for LSU AgCenter faculty members, Calvin Shelton was selected to receive the LSU AgCenter’s top honor for support staff members. Shelton, a maintenance employee at the AgCenter’s Hammond Research Station, received the Ganelle Bullock Staff Outstanding Service Award.

Glen Gentry also was recognized with the LSU AgCenter’s Outstanding Service Award for Associates. Gentry is a research associate at the AgCenter’s Idlewild Research Station in Clinton.

Another two awards also were presented to "friends of extension" during ceremonies earlier in the day.

Epsilon Sigma Phi, the honorary fraternity for extension workers, honored Katherine Richardelle and Kenneth E. "Ken" Uffman as friends of extension.

Richardelle of Cut Off is an avid conservationist for Bayou Lafourche and Grand Isle. Many credit her with saving the recycling program in Lafourche Parish. Most recently, she also headed the volunteer portion of the West Nile education program for the elderly – a project that LSU AgCenter extension faculty members say they could not have completed without her commitment.

Uffman of Baton Rouge assembled and serves as president of the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Jump $tart teaches high schoolers personal financial management. Through the media and personal contacts, Uffman played a vital role in developing public and governmental awareness of the dire need to improve the financial literacy of Louisiana’s young people.


Craig Gautreaux at (225) 578-5673 or
Mark Claesgens at (225) 578-2939 or

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