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Orgeron awarded Ben Legendre professorship

LSU AgCenter weed scientist Al Orgeron has been named the Benjamin L. Legendre Sr. Sugar Heritage American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Professor.

Orgeron, an associate professor and integrated pest management specialist with the LSU AgCenter, is the first recipient of the professorship.

By Johnny Morgan

As a specialist, he is responsible for developing and conducting weed management education programs for the Louisiana sugar industry. He works closely with sugarcane producers, extension agents, private crop consultants and agronomists with the American Sugar Cane League to address weed control problems.

He uses a broad approach to deliver research-based weed management information to growers through face-to-face producer meetings, result demonstrations at parish field days, producer trainings, in-service training for extension agents, news articles, websites, email correspondence, phone calls and social media.

His research responsibilities include testing and evaluating new herbicide and ripener products that benefit sugarcane production in Louisiana. He monitors new weed problems in sugarcane and evaluates management options.

Orgeron also conducts soybean research in the fallow year of the sugarcane crop cycle to maximize soybean yield while maintaining weed control for the next cane crop.

Legendre devoted his career to the advancement of the Louisiana sugar industry through research and extension, Orgeron said.

The American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists has a mission to promote the general study of the sugar industry in all areas and to disseminate that information through meetings and publications.

Legendre served on the executive committee of the society’s Louisiana Division for many years and was a key player in advancing its goals.

Upon his death and to honor his memory, the Louisiana Division executive committee charted a course to establish a professorship.

Legendre’s family and members of the Louisiana Division of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists raised $80,000 to fund a professorship. The Louisiana Board of Regents matched the gift with $20,000 and established the professorship.

Orgeron graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science, a master’s degree in sugarcane breeding and a doctorate in weed science and ripeners under the direction of his major professors, Legendre and Jim Griffin.

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