Saturday, December 10, 2016

Evangeline Parish farmer honored at USA Rice Outlook Conference in Memphis

Richard Fontenot, second from left, with his family after receiving the award.
Upon receiving the award, Fontenot said 2016 has been a difficult one for most rice farmers. He thanked his wife, Rhonda, and son, Lance, for their support, and he said his success at farming results from working with his father, Bryan, and brother, Neal, on their farm near Vidrine. In addition to rice, they farm crawfish, soybeans, cattle and hay.
Fontenot was recognized in 2008 as the Louisiana Farmer of the Year, and he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Rice Council. He is secretary-treasurer of the Louisiana Rice Research Board and he is active in Louisiana Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau.
Fontenot said the U.S. rice industry also relies on farmers and others in the rice industry who work together, especially during difficult crop years such as 2016. “As a team both on our farm with my brother and father and with this fantastic staff of USA Rice, we’ve been better able to overcome the difficult year to face 2017. We are all team members of the U.S. rice industry and for that I’m proud, and it’s one of the reason I’ve done the advocacy work that I do.”
Dr. Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter LSU AgCenter associate vice president for plants, soils and water resources, said Fontenot Is deserving of the recognition for his work in the field and in organizations.
“He is one of the early adopters of the LSU AgCenter’s best management practices for rice and soybean production in his region of Louisiana and he offers tremendous support to our research and extension programs. His leadership and association with Louisiana’s farmer organizations have helped to guide agricultural policy in our state.”

Dr. Steve Linscombe also was recognized at the conference with a Rice Industry Award for his work at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, both as a breeder and station director.

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