by Tom Merrill
Nominations for the 2014 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction are being accepted through Dec. 15.
Application or nomination forms can be obtained online at www.LSUAgCenter.com/AgHallofDistinction or at any LSU AgCenter parish extension office.
The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction is a joint effort of the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Radio Network and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and is designed to honor the extraordinary contributions of individuals to Louisiana agriculture. Nominees can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness.
A committee of five individuals representing commodities, agribusiness and other agriculture-related agencies across the state will review the nominations and select the inductees. The inductees will be recognized at a ceremony at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge on Feb. 27, 2014.
"This is the golden age of agriculture, and we need to recognize the people who have made Louisiana agriculture so successful," said LSU Vice President for Agriculture Bill Richardson. "Louisiana agriculture continues to play an essential economic role in state and local economies."
This year will be the first for the hall of distinction program, which is replacing the former award known as the Louisiana Farmer of the Year.
"We are happy to expand our marquee event of the year from Farmer of the Year to the more inclusive Agriculture Hall of Distinction," said Louisiana Radio Network President Jim Engster. "This gives us the opportunity to honor so many additional individuals who have contributed to the overall agriculture economy of our state."
"Year after year we have recognized with the Farmer of the Year program many farmers who have demonstrated excellence. Now, we have opened the door to individuals representing all facets of agriculture, and I look forward to honoring these men and women. They are the backbone of Louisiana's economy," said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.