Thanks for a Great Career
I officially retired from the LSU AgCenter on Oct. 1 after more than 35 years as rice specialist, rice breeder, Southwest Region Director and Director of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. I have had a very rewarding career and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the outstanding individuals that I have had the pleasure to work and interact with during my tenure in these positions. This includes all the AgCenter employees, farmers, consultants, government employees from numerous local, state and national agencies, elected officials, rice millers and other industry related individuals. The opportunity to work with these individuals was what has made my career so rewarding and enjoyable. My administrative roles were only possible because of the dedicated ladies that kept me functional in the office. Our rice breeding efforts were successful only because of the efforts of everyone at the rice station and specifically the individuals that I worked with on a day to day basis in the breeding program.
I have had the opportunity to travel a great deal during this time and have been to all 50 states and over 60 foreign countries on six continents. I have worked with numerous outstanding rice scientists from throughout the world. While not work related, I had the opportunity to spend the last two weeks of September on safari in Zimbabwe (see attached photo).
I would like to thank Buck Leonards for allowing me to be a part of this outstanding publication since its inception over 12 years ago. I would also like to thank him for the kind comments he made about my career in a recent issue.
On Oct. 1, I moved to a new position as director of the Rice Foundation through USA Rice. The Rice Foundation is a national organization that supports rice research at the national level, typically funding research that has value to the entire U.S. rice industry. In this position, I will have the opportunity to stay connected to the rice industry which is very important to me. One very important function of my new position will also be to direct the excellent Rice Leadership Development Program. This program is funded by grants from John Deere, RiceTec and American Commodity Company. Each year seven individuals (five rice producers and two rice industry related individuals) are selected to participate in a two year development program that includes visits to all the rice producing regions of the U.S., the Chicago Board of Trade, the John Deere combine production facility in Quad Cities as well as a visit to Washington, D.C. Each year the program also sponsors an international trip that program alumni may apply for. In fact, my first official trip in this new position will be to travel with a group of five program alumni in early November to the rice production regions of Nicaragua and Colombia. I would encourage all rice producers and industry related individuals to consider applying for this excellent program in the future.
This project was partially supported by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Permission granted October 15, 2017 by B. Leonards (LA Farm & Ranch) to republish article on www.lsuagcenter.com.
Larry White, Steve Linscombe, Louis Rodrigue and Neil Duckworth in front of one of the oldest baobab trees in Africa – estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old in Mokore, Zimbabwe.