Nominations sought for Louisiana Agricultural Hall of Distinction

Louisiana Hall of DistinctionThe Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction is accepting nominations for its induction ceremony, which will be held March 22, 2018, at the L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Deadline for the nominations is Nov. 20.

A joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction honors individuals who have made significant contributions to agriculture or agriculture-related industries.

Nominations can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness.

In 2017, three members were inducted into the hall: Charles “Buck” Vandersteen, Mayther “Ray” Young and the late James D. Graugnard, Sr.

An Alexandria resident, Vandersteen was honored for decades of service to the forestry industry at every level. In addition to presiding over the 4,000-member Louisiana Forestry Association for 34 years, he was instrumental in convincing state lawmakers to create the Passage of the Forest Productivity Program, which sends part of the state’s severance taxes back to forest landowners to help fund replanting.

A combination of formal education and hands-on experience led Young to open his own farm, which he operates with his son, Jesse, as a partner. They grow a variety of crops, including cotton, soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn and vegetables, as well as pine trees and cattle. Young, a respected crop consultant, pioneered what is known as “no-till” technology used on farms throughout the South.

His involvement in the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is considered Graugnard’s most valuable contribution. He served in many positions with the organization throughout his career, including president. For 26 years, he helped lead the federation through a period of unparalleled growth, both in member services and membership, which more than quadrupled during his tenure, topping 100,000.

Download a nomination form by clicking here or visit any LSU AgCenter Extension office.