Terry Siebenmorgen, University Professor of Food Science and director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Rice Processing Program, is the recipient of the Riceland Foods 2012 Friend of the Farmer award. The presentation was made at the cooperative’s annual meeting in Stuttgart, Ark., on Nov. 15.
Siebenmorgen has worked in the field of rice research throughout his almost 30-year-career, with an emphasis on issues related to how the growing environment, drying and storage, as well as processing and transporting affect rice quality.
Danny Kennedy, Riceland chief executive officer, said Siebenmorgen’s work, and that of his associates, has expanded the understanding of rice which has benefitted everyone in the rice industry, including farmers, millers, marketers, and food manufacturers who use rice in the production of their products.
The Friend of the Farmer award provides Riceland Foods an opportunity to recognize individuals, companies and public institutions for their contributions to the Arkansas rice industry. It has been presented to a governor, U.S. senators and congressmen, as well as to CEOs of national restaurant chains and international food manufacturers.
Siebenmorgen earned agricultural engineering degrees from the University of Arkansas and Purdue Universityand thenreceived his Ph.D.in engineering from the University of Nebraska. He joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas almost 30 years ago.
It was Siebenmorgen’s initiative that led to the establishment of the University of Arkansas Rice Processing Program, funded primarily by contributions from the industry. Early experiments showed the causes of rice kernel breakage following milling, and pointed to the impact of extremely dry or humid conditions on milled rice.
A long-term study showed the negative impacts of high nighttime air temperatures during rice kernel formation on chalk levels and milling yields. The research showed that variability in how milled rice functioned could be explained by the environment the rice kernels experienced while being formed in the field.
Other research showed the extent to which rice kernels are milled can have a big impact on milling yields and end-use processing performance.
Riceland noted that Siebenmorgen has also been successful working with personnel in the rice industry including, farmers, millers, marketers and food manufacturers who use rice in the production of their products.
“Besides his scientific abilities, Dr. Siebenmorgen has been very successful working with everyone in the rice industry including, farmers, millers, marketers, and food manufacturers who use rice in the production of their products.” Kennedy said.
“While we in the rice world think in terms of millions of bushels or metric tons, Dr. Siebenmorgen and his associates think in terms of a single rice kernel and how it reacts to a given environment. That may be why Terry works so well with so many different people. He also relates to people in the rice industry as individuals and treats each one with respect and a smile.”