BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction will honor its 2017 inductees during a banquet Thursday night at L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge.
The 2017 inductees are Charles A. “Buck” Vandersteen, James D. Graugnard, Sr. of St. James and Ray Young of Wisner.
Charles A. “Buck” Vandersteen of Alexandria, for his invaluable contributions to the forestry industry. Vandersteen has presided for 34 years over the Louisiana Forestry Association, which has 4,000 members. He received the Distinguished Service to Forestry Award in 1996 and was named Member of the Year by the Louisiana Society of Association Executives in 2008.
James D. Graugnard, Sr. (posthumously) of St. James parish for his substantial role in the leadership and development of the Louisiana Farm Bureau. He strived to improve efficiency for Farm Bureau members in their daily work. Graugnard’s accomplishments include more than quadrupling the organization's membership during his tenure, greatly expanding the organization's services for members and helping to secure use-value taxation for agricultural land in the Louisiana constitution.
Ray Young of Wisner, for his significant contributions to the agricultural industry. Young pioneered and introduced the no-till system which is now used in farming across the South. He has received numerous awards including twice being named the Outstanding Conservation Farmer for Northeast Louisiana by Soil and Water Conservation District.
The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction honors those who have made significant contributions to the state’s agriculture community in farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, education and agribusiness.
The annual induction ceremony is presented by the Louisiana Radio Network in cooperation with the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. Monsanto serves as title sponsor, and First South Farm Credit is the presenting sponsor.