Agricultural centers give statewide awards

Frances Gould  |  12/22/2008 8:44:24 PM

News Release Distributed 12/22/08

BATON ROUGE – The LSU AgCenter and the Southern University Ag Center  during their joint annual conference Dec. 15 recognized nine individuals and three teams of faculty members for outstanding service.

Two additional awards were given to staff members for exemplary performance of their duties at the LSU AgCenter.

The top individual awards for LSU AgCenter extension faculty members went to LSU AgCenter wildlife and forestry specialist Don Reed and county agent Stuart Gauthier from Vermilion Parish. Top individual award winners for research faculty went to AgCenter animal scientist Kayanush Aryana and plant pathologist Chris Clark.

For the Southern University Ag Center, the top individual extension award winner was specialist Kasundra Cyrus. The top individual research winner was animal scientist Sebhatu Gebrelul.

Recipients of the LSU AgCenter team awards were a group of scientists involved in nutrition research focusing on how resistant starch can improve people’s health and a group of Family and Nutrition Program and horticulture agents who created a community gardening program.

The winner of the Southern University Ag Center mini-grant team award went to a group of specialists who managed a program aimed at improving the lives of at risk youth.

Winners of the awards presented in the E.R. “Bo” Campbell Auditorium on the LSU Campus were:

– Excellence in Extension Award: Dr. Don Reed, a wildlife and forestry specialist who conducts research at the LSU AgCenter's Bob R. Jones Idlewild Research Station near Clinton. Reed was recognized for the programs he does with landowners in improving their property for wildlife enhancement.

– Floyd S. Edmiston Extension Award: Stuart Gauthier, LSU AgCenter county agent stationed in Vermilion Parish, was recognized for his work in assessing agricultural-related issues following the aftermath of hurricanes Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008.

– Rogers Excellence in Research Award: Dr. Kayanush Aryana, associate professor in the LSU AgCenter School of Animal Sciences, was recognized for his research with functional dairy products. His research involved developing dairy products with nutrition and health enhancements that would benefit consumers.

– Doyle Chambers Research Award: Dr. Chris Clark, professor in the LSU AgCenter Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, was praised for his research with sweet potatoes. Clark played an integral role in developing sweet potato varieties that make up the bulk of the sweet potatoes grown in the United States.

– Global Excellence Award in Grantsmanship (Extension): Dr. Kasundra Cyrus, extension specialist with the Southern University Ag Center, received this award for her proficiency in grant writing. She is project director for the “Parents Preparing for Success” program.

– Global Excellence Award in Scholarship (Research): Dr. Sebhatu Gebrelul, a professor in the sustainable plant and animal production program at the Southern University Ag Center, was acknowledged for his research in developing a meat identification software program and the development of material related to goat breeding, care and management, nutrition and health and reproduction.

– Denver T. and Ferne Loupe Extension Team Award: This team was responsible for developing five community gardens around the city of Shreveport. The program involved the construction of gardens that offered citizens an opportunity to consume fresh vegetables, lessons related to nutrition and instilled pride in area neighborhoods. The team consisted of LSU AgCenter Family and Nutrition Program agents Vicky Chesser and Dr. Grace Peterson and horticulture agent Denyse Cummins.

– Tipton Team Research Award: The winner of this award was the LSU AgCenter’s resistant starch team. Consisting of members representing both nutrition and health research, the team focused on how an increased diet of resistant starch can have positive effects on issues related to the reduction of body fat, improved glucose tolerance and the prevention of cancer. The team members are: Dr. Kayanush Aryana, associate professor, School of Animal Sciences; Dr. Chang-Ho Chung, assistant professor, Audubon Sugar Institute; Dr. Donal Day, professor, Audubon Sugar Institute; Dr. Marlene Janes, associate professor, Department of Food Science; Dr. Mike Keenan, associate professor, School of Human Ecology; Joan King, associate professor, Department of Food Science; Dr. Don Labonte, professor, School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences; Dr. Jack Losso, associate professor, Department of Food Science; Kathy McCutcheon, research associate, School of Human Ecology; Dr. David Picha, professor, School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences; and Dr. Richard Tulley, professor, School of Human Ecology.

– Southern University Ag Center Mini-Grant Award: Recipients of this award were recognized for their efforts in deterring youth from engaging in risky behavior that could put their health at risk and empower them to make safer decisions. Team members are: Keydron Guinn, Edna Lastrapes and Lavonya Malveaux from the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives; Donna Badon, Fatemah Malekian and Oscar Udoh of the Southern University Ag Center; and Chris Robichaux from St. Martin Parish.

– Ganelle Bullock Staff Outstanding Service Award: Mary Hollingsworth, an administrative coordinator in the LSU AgCenter's Rapides Parish office, is responsible for updating and helping to maintain the parish Web site. She also is involved in teaching new employees how to use the AgCenter’s content management system.

– Outstanding Service Award for Associates: Clark Robertson, research associate in the LSU AgCenter's Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, is involved in diagnosing problems with issues related to soybeans including a fungicide research experiment that covered more than 500 soybean plots.

– Rosalie Biven 4-H Youth Development Service Learning Award: Catherine Pace and Lola B. Shuttleworth, LSU AgCenter 4-H agents in Caddo Parish, were recognized for their efforts coordinating with area 4-H students in serving as mentors to younger students at the Allendale Friendship House. This after-school program taught valuable lessons through the use of educational programs, playing games and leading hands-on activities.


Contact: Frankie Gould, at (225) 578-5679 or
Writer: Craig Gautreaux, at (225) 578-5673 or

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