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Ron Levy: Louisiana soybean specialist

Ron Levy has been named the state soybean specialist for the LSU AgCenter, according to Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension.

Levy has been the LSU AgCenter county agent in Acadia Parish for more than 20 years, working with rice, soybeans, wheat, turfgrass, grain sorghum and corn.

“Dr. Levy is very excited about this opportunity to take on the challenges and responsibilities of his new position with the LSU AgCenter and to provide leadership for extension educational programs serving soybean and grain producers in Louisiana,” Coreil said. “He is looking forward to working with county agents, research scientists, consultants, agribusiness personnel and producers to carry out the mission of the LSU AgCenter.”

Coreil said the position’s extension educational program will include soybean verification, on-farm demonstrations and problem solving using research-based recommendations and information.

“Working with our county agents statewide, Ron also will provide leadership for the coordination, development and promotion of statewide extension education programs for soybeans and grain crops using best management practices,” Coreil said.

Levy will be based at the LSU AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria, La.

“Dr. Levy brings a lengthy career and a wealth of expertise,” said John Barnett, regional director for the LSU AgCenter’s central region. “We’re very excited to bring him to the statewide program. It’s a very important position to have that statewide leadership.”

The position also includes working with corn and grain sorghum producers, Barnett said. Research associates Rob Ferguson and Jim Shipp will assist Levy.

Levy received his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1979 and a master’s degree from LSU in 1986. In 2004, he received his doctorate from LSU in crop, soil and environmental sciences.

Levy has been with the LSU AgCenter since 1979, first as a 4-H agent in Calcasieu Parish and later in Jefferson Davis Parish until 1988 when he started in Acadia Parish as a county agent working with soybean and rice farmers.

Levy has been an adjunct professor at McNeese State University, teaching agronomy and soil science.

He received the LSU AgCenter’s Floyd Edmiston Award in 2005 for excellence in extension education, and he was named Rice Researcher of the Year in 2004 at the National Conservation and Tillage Conference.

Levy belongs to a number of honor societies and professional organizations including the Louisiana and National County Agricultural Agents associations, Southern Weed Science Society and Louisiana Rice Growers Association.

Levy said he took the job to expand his career. “I thought it would be a new challenge, working in a wider area and getting to know farmers throughout the state,” he said.

The new job is a progression of his work on the parish level, Levy said.

“I feel that extension has an obligation to work with all the people of the state,” he said. “I enjoy working with people on an individual basis.”

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