LSU AgCenter county agent Eddie Eskew has been honored with the Rice Industry Award for his work in Jefferson Davis Parish.

“It was a very humbling experience,” Eskew said. “I was completely surprised, because I didn't even know I had been nominated.”

Eskew received the award Dec. 5 at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Austin, Texas.

A 1971 graduate of LSU, Eskew has been a county agent in Jefferson Davis Parish since 1980. Before that, he worked with the LSU AgCenter's 4-H program in St. Landry Parish, and he has worked for the LSU AgCenter for 34 years.

Eskew said he enjoys working with rice because of its tradition and heritage.

“We've got some third and fourth generation rice farmers,” he said. “There's a deep love of farming.”

Steve Linscombe, regional director for the LSU AgCenter in Southwestern Louisiana, said it didn't surprise him that Eskew had been honored.

“Eddie is very hard-working and dedicated, and is the epitome of what a rice extension agent should be in the 21st century,” Linscombe said. “He is an outstanding extension agent with an earnest desire to see his rice farmer clientele succeed.”

Linscombe said Eskew uses the latest technology to get information to growers.

Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said Eskew's reputation was an obvious reason for the award.

“He has tremendous credibility and has the technical capability and knowledge to earn the respect of even the most progressive crop producers and agricultural leaders in Southwest Louisiana,” Coreil said. “This Rice Industry Award defines and rewards a lifetime of great educational work for an Extension professional that continues to serve the needs of rice growers in not only Jefferson Davis Parish but throughout the state and the nation.”

Syngenta, Rice Farming magazine and the USA Rice Federation sponsor the Rice Awards.

Also at the Rice Outlook Conference, two Louisiana farmers, Bryan “Buck” Leonards of Acadia Parish and Ross Hebert of Vermilion Parish, were chosen for the USA Rice Federation's 2006 Rice Leadership Development class.