LSU AgCenter honors top faculty

Tobie Blanchard  |  1/4/2011 1:11:32 AM

News Release Distributed 12/03/10

BATON ROUGE – The LSU AgCenter recognized six individuals, two teams of faculty members and two staff members for outstanding service and research during ceremonies here Friday (Dec. 3).

The top individual awards for extension faculty members went to plant pathologist Clayton Hollier and county agent Keith Fontenot. Top individual award winners for research faculty went to plant pathologist Don Groth and Cristina Sabliov, associate professor in biological and agriculture engineering.

Recipients of the team awards were a nutritionist and a group of extension agents who developed the Smart Portions healthy lifestyle curriculum and researchers with the Audubon Sugar Institute who are developing new uses for sugarcane byproducts.

The awards presented in the Lod Cook Alumni Center on the LSU campus were:

– Extension Excellence Award: Clayton Hollier, an extension specialist in LSU AgCenter Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, was recognized for his dedication to plant disease detection and helping farmers combat these diseases in the field.

– Floyd S. Edmiston Extension Award: Keith Fontenot, Evangeline Parish county agent who works with rice, soybeans and cattle. He was honored for his relentless efforts to serve the farmers and the people of his parish.

– G & H Seed Company Inc. Research Award: Cristina Sabliov, a researcher in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, is pioneering the use of nanotechnology to solve food and health issues. Her work involves using nanoparticles that help improve the body’s ability to use vitamins. This is the first year the company, located in Crowley, La., sponsored the award, and they have established an endowment to continue their sponsorship in the future.

– Doyle Chambers Research Award: Don Groth, a plant pathologist at the Rice Research Station in Crowley, was recognized for developing disease resistance in rice varieties. His research has led to better varieties and higher yields for farmers.

– Denver T. and Ferne Loupe Extension Team Award: This team was responsible for developing Smart Portions, an eight-week that uses research-based information to help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The team includes nutritionist Beth Reames and consumer and family science agents Joan Almond in Webster Parish,  Terri Crawford in the Northeast Region, Debbie Melvin in Lafourche Parish and Penny Thibodeaux in Jefferson Davis Parish.

– Tipton Team Research Award: The winner of this award was the LSU AgCenter’s sugarcane processing and biofuels research team. The team, which consists of researchers and process engineers, includes Giovanna Aita, Harold Birkett, Donal Day, Kun-Jun Han, MiSook Kim, Vadim Kochergin, Benjamin Legendre, Lee Madsen and Melati Tessier. The team operates out of the Audubon Sugar Institute in St. Gabriel and works to improve the factory side of sugar production while also looking at the concept of a sugarcane biorefinery, using sugarcane and refining byproducts.

– Rosalie Bivin 4-H Youth Development Faculty Award: Shannan Waits and Hilton Waits, 4-H agents in Vermilion Parish, were recognized for helping organize the service-learning project “4-H Has a Heart.” Through the program, 4-H junior leaders worked with special needs youth in their area.

Other LSU AgCenter awards went to outstanding staff members.

– Ganelle Bullock Staff Outstanding Service Award: Penny Ringe, publications coordinator, was instrumental in getting the LSU AgCenter’s e-commerce site operating and manages the AgCenter’s publications warehouse.

– Outstanding Service Award for Associates: Christopher Roider, a research associate at the Central Research Stations in Baton Rouge, manages 400 acres that support crop production research, as well as another 150 acres devoted to corn silage and forage production for animal research and teaching activities.

Tobie Blanchard

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