USDA honors include LSU AgCenter faculty members

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Westra, John, Hinson, Roger A.

News Release Distributed 10/11/10

Two LSU AgCenter faculty members were part of a group who were honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6.

LSU AgCenter agricultural economists Roger Hinson and John Westra are members of the National Food MarketMaker team that received the Partnership Award “for giving consumers better access to fresh, local foods and farmers more opportunities for profitability through successful, multistate partnership.”

Louisiana is one of 17 states that participate in the National Food MarketMaker Project, which originated at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Hinson and Westra serve as program leaders of the Louisiana program, which is administered by the LSU AgCenter.

MarketMaker is a free, online marketing resource that gives producers access to powerful marketing tools and regional markets -- linking them with processors, retailers, consumers and other food supply chain participants, developers say.

The Louisiana program helps consumers and businesses locate local produce, meat, dairy products, seafood, farmers markets, roadside stands, grocery stores and restaurants as well as agribusinesses that transform raw commodities to value-added foods, Westra said.

“We are very pleased the LSU AgCenter was included in the university partner group receiving USDA’s Partnership Awards,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.

“This multi-state initiative enhances the ability of Louisiana farmers and fishermen to sell products directly to consumers and businesses seeking locally grown food, seafood and crops,” Coreil said. “And we are very pleased our faculty and staff are providing award-winning leadership and guidance to take full advantage of what many are calling an online farmers market for Louisiana food products.”

Mary Ann Van Osdell

1/4/2011 1:13:16 AM
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