Louisiana Rice Research Board recognizes three rice industry leaders

don groth
Louisiana Rice Research Board chairman Richard Fontenot (right) presents Dr. Don Groth a plaque recognizing his 37 years of service to the rice industry — photos by Vicky Boyd

The Louisiana Rice Research Board honored three individuals at the June 30 LSU AgCenter Rice Field Day for their years of service to the industry.

• Dr. Don Groth, who retired earlier this year as Extension plant pathologist and resident coordinator at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, was recognized for his 37 years of service.

In 2019, he became the first recipient of the Rice Research Chair, which was funded by the Louisiana Rice Research Board. Funding is from $1.5 million set aside from Colombian Free Trade Agreement money that must be designated for rice research in Louisiana. Interest generated by the account is used to fund an endowed chair to enhance efforts at the rice station.

eric webster
LSU AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster was recognized for his 23 years of service.

• Dr. Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist, was recognized for his 23 years of service studying rice weeds. Webster is leaving LSU to join the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he will be associate dean of agriculture and oversee that institution’s Extension research stations.

kevin norton
Richard Fontenot, chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board (right) presents a plaque to Kevin Norton thanking him for his nearly 40 years of service to NRCS.

• Kevin Norton, who was Natural Resources Conservation Service Louisiana state conservationist, previously spent 25 years in Oklahoma as assistant state conservationist. He moved to Alexandria, Louisiana, in 2007 to head Louisiana’s conservation programs.

In September 2019, Norton was named NRCS associate chief in Washington, D.C., a post he held until retiring May 2021. Altogether, he spent nearly 40 years with NRCS.


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