Rice Farming

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Gardisser named to the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame

It has been a long journey for Dr. Dennis Gardisser from being a crewmember in 1970 on a military AWAC aircraft in Vietnam to being named to the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame.

The award was presented by the Arkansas Aviation Historical Society, which created the Hall of Fame in 1980 to honor men and women for their contributions in the fields of aviation and aerospace.

“It’s one of the most prestigious awards I’ve ever received, and I’m extremely honored to receive it,” says Gardisser, professor/Extension engineer with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Zemery Melvern “Jack” Stell and Adolphus H. “Pat” Bledsoe Jr. were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Aviation hasn’t always been a major player in Gardisser’s life.

He was born and raised on a dairy farm in Washington County. He served in the Marine Corps from 1970 to 1974. He has been a truck driver, a data processor and graduate research assistant. He joined the U of A Cooperative Extension Service in 1982 as an engineer.

Since 1982, he has worked in the areas of agricultural chemical applications, grain storage, drying and handling, precision agriculture and agricultural fencing systems. He annually conducts fly-in clinics around Arkansas to help ag pilots fine tune their skills and calibrate their equipment for more efficient spraying.

A commercial pilot and flight instructor, Gardisser lives at Country Air Estates, a fly-in community near Lonoke. He does consulting work around the world – 10 countries at last count – serves on several aviation and pesticide committees and travels around the country to hunt and fish.

2007 Rice Award recipients honored at Outlook Conference
Clarence Berken, Dr. Joe Street and Dr. Steve Linscombe, the recipients of the 2007 Rice Awards, were honored at the 2007 USA Rice Outlook Conference for their significant rice industry contributions. Berken was named the Rice Farmer of the Year, Street received the Rice Industry Award and Linscombe received the Rice Lifetime Achievement Award.

“The men chosen for these awards are proven leaders in their fields,” says Betsy Ward, USA Rice Federation president and CEO. “Clarence Berken has emerged as a key rice industry leader. He has taken the reins of the USA Rice Council, and his work on the USA Rice Import Rice Task Force has garnered widespread industry attention.

“It challenges the imagination to wonder where the industry would have been without the rice research conducted by Drs. Joe Street and Steve Linscombe,” she adds.

Dodge dealers offer scholarships to FFA students
The scholarship program is a cooperative effort between Dodge, Farm Bureau and the National FFA organization.

To apply, a student must be an FFA member and a member of a Farm Bureau family. Students must complete the official National FFA Scholarship Application, including the parent financial analysis section, as financial need will be considered.

Applications are available online at scholarships.ffa.org. A completed signature page must be mailed to FFA postmarked by Feb. 15. The scholarships, offered by Dodge Trucks, start at $1,000 each and are available to FFA members in all 50 states.

Congress sends approved appropriations to President
A $555 billion full-year, mostly government-wide, fiscal year (FY) 2008 discretionary and emergency spending appropriations has been approved by Congress and sent to the President. $932.8 billion is fiscal year (FY) 2008’s total federal discretionary spending in a $2.9 trillion budget.

Ninety-one billion, approximately, for total USDA FY 2008 funding includes:
• $72 billion, approximately, for mandatory program funding.
• $18.1 billion in discretionary funding and $1.0 billion for drought and Women, Infants & Children emergency funding.

Other USDA provisions include:
• Three-month Farm Bill extension until March 15, 2008, which should ensure funding for FY 2008 for the MAP, FMD and other export promotion programs will now be provided.
• USDA funding for commodity programs, conservation, trade, food aid (only administrative costs funded for PL 480 Title I), food safety, ag research, rural development, nutrition and energy.

Following is the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations – Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate (AN):

• DHS appropriations mandate establishing a DHS registration system for AN producers, sellers and purchasers.

• A proposed rule will be issued by DHS not later than six months after the bill’s enactment date. A final rule will be issued not later than one year after enactment date.

• Only registered persons or their agents shall be permitted to buy AN, but only from a registered facility.

• Only a registered person shall be permitted to own or operate an AN facility.

• Homeland Security may enter into a cooperative agreement with USDA or a state agriculture department to administer the program and also may delegate program enforcement authority to states deemed capable of implementing it.

• Civil penalties are authorized at discretion of DHS.

Senate Appropriations Committee’s Cuba trade and travel language removed from final bill.

2008 Rice Leadership Development Class named
The USA Rice Federation has announced the members of the 2008 Rice Leadership Development Class. The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals chosen by a committee of agribusiness leaders.

The new rice producer class members are Buddy Allen, Tunica, Miss; Sean Doherty, College City, Calif.; Blake Gerard, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Dan Hosman, Jonesboro, Ark.; and Kirk Meins, Stuttgart, Ark.
The industry-related class members are Dr. Carrie Castille, Breaux Bridge, La., and Michael Fruge, Pearland, Texas.

The Rice Leadership Development Program is sponsored by John Deere Company and Syngenta through a grant to the USA Rice Foundation.