LSU AgCenter Presents Awards To Outstanding Faculty Staff

Thomas A. Merrill, Gautreaux, Craig  |  12/19/2006 8:56:24 PM

News Release Distributed 12/19/06

BATON ROUGE – The LSU AgCenter honored four individuals and three teams with its top awards for faculty members, as well as two staff members for their outstanding service, Monday (Dec. 18) during its Annual Conference in Baton Rouge.

The top awards for extension faculty members went to LSU AgCenter rice expert Dr. Johnny Saichuk of Crowley and AgCenter housing expert Dr. Claudette Reichel of Baton Rouge, while similar awards for research faculty went to AgCenter entomologist Dr. Lane Foil of Baton Rouge and weed scientist Dr. Donnie Miller of St. Joseph.

Team awards for faculty members also were presented to a trio of LSU AgCenter fisheries and coastal ecology agents from South Louisiana, a group of precision agriculture researchers from across the state and three 4-H agents from Lafayette Parish.

The awards for outstanding support staff members went to a research associate and an administrative specialist, both from Baton Rouge.

Awards presented Monday in the E.R. "Bo" Campbell Auditorium and the recipients were:

–Rogers Excellence in Research Award – Dr. Donnie Miller, resident coordinator and weed scientist, LSU AgCenter Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph. Miller was recognized for his work during the past five years in weed control and its importance to production agriculture, particularly in the areas of weeds becoming resistant to herbicides.

–Excellence in Extension Award – Dr. Johnny Saichuk, the AgCenter’s rice specialist stationed in Crowley. Saichuk was recognized for cultivating productive relationships that benefit the state’s rice industry and for years of working with Louisiana rice farmers to help them produce the best crop possible, as well as helping South Louisiana farmers face the challenges brought on by salt intrusion from the storm surges of the 2005 hurricanes.

–Doyle Chambers Research Award – Dr. Lane Foil, professor, AgCenter Department of Entomology, Baton Rouge. The award recognizes long-term contributions to science, and Foil, who is one of the leading experts on livestock pests, was recognized for a career marked by a sometimes "unconventional approach" to research that has yielded practical solutions that have been adopted across the globe.

–Floyd S. Edmiston Award – Dr. Claudette Reichel, housing specialist, Ag Center Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Baton Rouge. Reichel was recognized for her work on the Louisiana House Resource Center. LaHouse, designed to be a model and teaching center on stronger, smarter and safer building techniques, was started long before last year’s hurricanes but has become a major focus for many who now are rebuilding.

–Tipton Team Research Award – the LSU AgCenter’s precision agriculture team: Dr. Ralph Bagwell, a professor in the AgCenter’s Northeast Louisiana Region, based in Winnsboro; Dr. Roberto Barbosa, assistant professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Baton Rouge; Dennis Burns, research associate, Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph; Gene Burris, professor, Northeast Research Station; Dr. Ernie Clawson, assistant professor, Northeast Research Station; Dr. Roger Leonard, professor, Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro; Dr. Keith Morris, assistant professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Dr. Charles Overstreet, professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Baton Rouge; Dr. Boyd Padgett, associate professor, Macon Ridge Research Station; Dr. Ken Paxton, professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Baton Rouge; Josh Temple, research associate, Department of Entomology, Baton Rouge; Maurice Wolcott, research associate, Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology; and Randy Price, formerly in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering department. The team was recognized for its multidisciplinary work and its influence in encouraging producers to adopt precision agriculture techniques.

–Denver T. and Ferne Loupe Extension Team Award – Albert "Rusty" Gaude, a AgCenter fisheries and coastal issues agent based in Plaquemines Parish, Kevin Savoie, a fisheries and coastal issues agent in Southwest Louisiana who is based in Lake Charles, and Mark Schexnayder, a fisheries and coastal issues agent based in Metairie who has also been serving as the coordinator of the AgCenter’s hurricane recovery efforts in that area. They were recognized for a variety of efforts designed to get the state’s fisheries industry and many of its communities back on track after the 2005 storms.

–4-H Service-Learning Award – Angie Arnould, Jan Coussan and Charles Hebert, AgCenter 4-H agents in Lafayette Parish. They were credited with leading efforts in which youth in the parish worked on a variety of hurricane relief and recovery efforts serving their counterparts in Cameron Parish. Under their leadership, young people contributed thousands of hours and raised several thousand dollars while at the same time learning about leadership, citizenship and life skills.

–Ganelle Bullock Staff Outstanding Service Award – Tammy Heil, administrative program specialist, AgCenter Experiment Station Administrative Offices, Baton Rouge. Heil, who was described as doing her work with the "utmost efficiency and accuracy," was the recipient of the award named in memory of a long-serving LSU AgCenter employee. The award recognizes a staff member for loyalty, effectiveness, efficiency, a positive outlook and care and concern for others.

–Outstanding Service Award for Associates – Franklin "Randy" Wright, research associate, AgCenter Central Research Stations, Baton Rouge. Wright, who manages the horse unit and the sheep and goat farm, has spent 35 years with the university and was recognized for his technical knowledge, quality of work, teamwork, efficiency, effectiveness, initiative, creativity, professionalism, loyalty, commitment, self-development and overall contributions to the mission and work of the organization.

For more information on the work of the LSU AgCenter, visit


Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or
Craig Gautreaux at (225) 578-5673 or

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