Dr. Steve Linscombe tabbed as Rice Festival Honoree

The 73rd International Rice Festival has named Dr. Steve Linscombe of Crowley as its honoree, as announced by Janet R. Hebert, president.

Linscombe was born and raised in Gueydan and graduated from Gueydan High School.  At LSU, he received a bachelor’s degree in 1976 and a master’s degree in 1979. At Mississippi State University he was awarded a doctorate in Plant Breeding and Genetics in 1982. In September of that year he joined the LSU AgCenter as the rice extension agronomist.

During his tenure

in this position he worked closely with county agents, researchers, consultants, and directly with rice producers in bringing new research based technology to the industry in a timely manner. In June 1988, he moved to the Rice Research Station to lead the rice variety development and genetics research. 

Since he took leadership of this program, this research team has been responsible for the development and release of 15 new rice varieties worth an average of $35 million to the Louisiana rice industry per year for the previous five years. These varieties have been partially responsible for the increase in Louisiana per acre average rice yields which stood at 4,500 pounds in 1988 and had increased to over 6,000 pounds in 2005. In addition, these varieties have improved the milling quality and stability of rice produced under Louisiana conditions.  The varieties developed by this program have represented all major types of rice including long, medium, and short-grain, and the first variety developed specifically for the crawfish industry. Varieties produced by this program have also dominated production outside the state. Over the previous decade, more than 60 percent of the rice acreage in the southern U.S. rice production region were planted with varieties released by the Crowley research center.

He works closely with rice millers, processors and end users in attempts to address specific needs through variety development. Several of the varieties released by this program have specific attributes to address emerging needs of the industry.  

He has authored or co-authored more than 80 refereed journal articles in scientific publications as well as hundreds of other articles in diverse types of publications to make the results of these research efforts available to various audiences. He has also generated over $5.8 million in grant funds to support these research efforts at the Rice Research Station.

He has made hundreds of presentations to producer groups in Louisiana as well as in all the U.S. rice producing states. In addition, he has made presentations on various subjects relative to rice to many other groups such as civic clubs, school classes (including elementary, middle school, high school and college groups), educators, legislators, legislative aides, and government agencies. He has developed cooperative research programs with researchers in other rice producing states as well as a number of research programs in other countries. He has also been an invited speaker at numerous international meetings. He has traveled to over 30 countries on six continents in these and other rice research related activities. He currently serves as the Scientific Liaison Officer between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. In this position, he works with the IRRI Board of Trustees and researchers in facilitating cooperation between this research center and U.S. rice research efforts.     

He has also been active in service to the industry through activities with rice organizations. He works closely with the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Rice Advisory Committee, the Louisiana Rice Producers Group and the Louisiana Rice Research Board. He is an active participant in USA Rice Federation programs and currently serves on the Environmental Regulatory Committee as well as the Rice Foundation Research Committee. He was also selected to participate in the USA Rice Federation Leadership Development Program in 1997-98.

In 1999 he was named by the LSU AgCenter as an Endowed Professor in Plant Genetics, Breeding and Variety Development. In addition, his program’s efforts have been recognized with the following honors: 

1995 Recognized:  By the Louisiana Rice Growers Association for "Exceptional Accomplishments in Varietal Development and Outstanding Contributions to the Louisiana Rice Industry."  

1996 Awarded:  United States Department of Agriculture Award for Superior Service - "For Personal and Professional Excellence in the Development and Release of Superior Rice Varieties that have Resulted in Increased Income to the Rice Industry and Improved Quality for Consumers."  

1996 Awarded:  First Mississippi Corporation Award of Excellence for Outstanding Work in the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station.

1997 Recognized:  By the Progressive Farmer Magazine as “Man of the Year in Louisiana Agriculture.”

1998 Awarded:  Distinguished Rice Research and Education Award by the Rice Technical Working Group.

2001 Awarded:  Friend of the Farmer Award by Riceland Foods.

2003 Awarded:  Tipton Team Research Award by the LSU Agricultural Center.

2006 Awarded:  Distinguished Rice Research Team Award by the Rice Technical Working Group.

He attributes the success of this program to the hard working dedicated individuals that work with him in the breeding program as well as throughout the Rice Research Station. He feels that the close cooperation among the various projects that conduct rice research in the LSU AgCenter have led to the success of the rice breeding program as well as in all the rice research efforts in Louisiana. In addition he credits his extension co-workers who have been responsible for the transfer of new technology to the industry.  He also attributes much of the credit for the success of these efforts to Louisiana rice producers who have supported rice research efforts for the past 34 years by their dedication of check-off funds to these research activities.

In addition to his research efforts, he also serves as the LSU AgCenter Regional Director for the 11-parish Southwest Region, as well as Resident Coordinator for the Rice Research Station. He is married to the former Judy Rose Radelat and is the proud father of two sons, Christopher Chas and Ryan Grey, and one daughter, Darian Jill.

The festival's 2009 edition is slated to take place the weekend of October 15-17 in downtown Crowley. 

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