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LSU AgCenter faculty members named to endowed positions

Four members of the Louisiana State University AgCenter faculty have been named to positions of distinction — an endowed chair and endowed professorships in their areas of expertise. They are:

• Rogers Leonard, professor and entomologist with the LSU AgCenter’s Macon Ridge Research Station, Winnsboro, La., was named to the Jack Hamilton Chair in Cotton Production.

• Alexander M. “Sandy” Stewart, professor and Louisiana Extension cotton specialist at the Dean Lee Research Station, Alexandria, La., was named to the Tom and Martha Burch and Delta and Pine Land Co. Endowed Professorship in Extension Cotton Production and Genetics.

• Don Boquet, professor and agronomist, also at the Macon Ridge Research Station, was named to the Jack E. and Henrietta Jones Endowed Professorship in Cotton Genetics, Production and/or Physiology;

• Mike Stout, who is based at the LSU AgCenter’s Baton Rouge campus, was named to the L.D. Newsom Professorship in Integrated Pest Management.

“We’re pleased to be able to reward our outstanding faculty members with honors such as these,” said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson. “An endowed professorship has significant value in attracting, encouraging and retaining faculty members who display outstanding performance in research and scholarship.”

Endowed chairs are funded by private contributions of $600,000 and matching funds of $400,000 from the Louisiana State Board of Regents. Endowed professorships are funded by private contributions of $60,000 matched by $40,000 from the Board of Regents.

The subsequent endowments of $1 million and $100,000 are invested, and the income from the investments is used to support research and educational programs by providing funds for such purposes as faculty travel, student workers or salary supplements.

Leonard, the author of numerous research papers on insects that damage cotton, focuses his research on the development and implementation of insect pest management strategies in corn, cotton, grain sorghum and soybeans.

He received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from LSU and has been on the faculty of the AgCenter since 1990. He previously was a crop consultant in private practice in St. Joseph, La.

The Jack Hamilton Chair in Cotton Production was created by the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association, the Louisiana Independent Cotton Warehouse Association and the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association to honor former National Cotton Council President Jack Hamilton from Lake Providence.

Hamilton, who died in December 2001, was a cotton producer and ginner. He was an organizer and first president of the Louisiana Cotton Producers Association and served as president of the Louisiana Cotton Warehouse Association and the Southern Cotton Ginners Association.

Stewart, a native of North Carolina, joined the faculty of the LSU AgCenter in 2000. His initial responsibilities were for cotton research in central Louisiana, and he has since taken on additional responsibilities as the statewide Extension cotton specialist for the AgCenter.

“I am humbled to be named the first recipient of the Burch Professorship,” Stewart said. “Louisiana has a number of excellent and talented scientists working with cotton, so I consider it an honor. In addition, Dr. Burch served for many years as the Extension cotton specialist in Louisiana. The cotton specialists group around the country is a tight one that communicates and works together well, so a professorship in his honor is especially meaningful.”

Stewart, who is based at the AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria, La., earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University.

The Tom and Martha Burch and Delta and Pine Land Co. Professorship was funded by gift of land from the Burches and a matching pledge from Delta and Pine Land Co.

Boquet, who was selected for the Jones professorship, has been at the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph, La., and its Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro, La., since 1976. His research focuses on production systems and management practices for cotton, soybeans and grain crops to increase productivity or profitability of cropping systems under irrigated and non-irrigated culture.

“I am especially pleased to be selected to receive the Jack and Henrietta Jones Professorship in Agronomy, because Dr. Jack Jones was a highly respected and productive agronomist for many years,” Boquet said. “During his career with the AgCenter, he was — and actually still is — recognized as one of the most successful cotton breeders in the United States.

A native of Bourg, La., Boquet received his bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from LSU.

Jones, a retired cotton researcher in the LSU AgCenter, is known throughout Louisiana, the United States and the world for his research in altering the genetics of cotton. A Georgia native, Jones received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and earned his doctorate at LSU.

Henrietta Jones also contributed to the cotton research program at LSU, serving for many years as a laboratory assistant in the LSU AgCenter’s Cotton Fiber Laboratory.

A native of California, Stout earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkley, and his doctorate from the University of California, Davis. His research covers such topics as management of insect pests of rice, the biochemical and physiological bases of plant resistance to insects, induced resistance to insects, and management of mosquitoes in rice fields.

Stout also is a graduate of the LSU AgCenter’s Agricultural Leadership Development Program and has lectured in both China and Thailand on rice pest management.

“It is a tremendous honor to have been chosen for this professorship, especially given the quality of the entomology faculty at LSU,” Stout said. “I appreciate the opportunities that the LSU AgCenter has given me.”

Dr. L. Dale Newsom, for whom the professorship is named, had a long and prestigious teaching and research career as professor and head of the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Entomology. He was co-developer of the boll weevil diapause control strategy — a major component of the boll weevil eradication program.

“Dr. Newsom was a pioneer in the area of integrated pest management, which is a scientifically, environmentally and ecologically sound approach to controlling pests,” Stout said. “It is a tribute to the efforts of Dr. Newsom and others like him that the principles underlying integrated pest management have been almost universally accepted by entomologists, plant pathologists and others concerned with crop protection.”


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