March 4th, 2021

BATON ROUGE, LA – We are pleased to announce that the 2021 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction will be held on March 4th, 2021! Applications for nominations are now open. Please check under the NOMINATIONS tab for more information.


Please check back later for more updates! We look forward to seeing you next year! 




August 6th, 2020

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction was held quite differently this year. We celebrated on the evening of August 6th, 2020. Guests gathered in smaller numbers, but not less in spirit, to safely honor the newest inductees: Dr. James Barnett, John Denison, Dr. Jay Hardwick, and Dr. Calvin Viator. We would like to thank those who attended, and those who viewed our first ever live-stream of the ceremony on Facebook! If you'd like to view the 2020 Hall of Distinction booklet online, you can do so by clicking the button below:



2020 Inductees

Dr. James Barnett

Pineville, LA 

Dr. Jay Hardwick

Newellton, LA

John Denison

Iowa, LA

Dr. Calvin Viator

Thibodaux, LA

The Hall of Distinction recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Louisiana’s farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, education, and agribusiness industries.

The 2020 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction inductees are James Barnett, John Denison, Jay Hardwick, and Calvin Viator.

Barnett, a Pineville native, has spent nearly 50 years advancing the reforestation of Southern pine species. He is being honored for his major contributions, research, and advancements with seeds and seedlings. A former captain in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, he has written more than 350 publications on seedling survivability and forest nursery management. He is a 50-year member of the Society of American Foresters and a distinguished alumnus of the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources.

Denison is a third-generation farmer from Iowa, Louisiana. He is being recognized for his integral role in the advancements in the production and profitability of Louisiana’s rice industry. Denison has earned numerous honors and significant positions over the years, including chairman of the Louisiana Rice Producers Group, Rice Farming Magazine Farmer of the Year and serving as a founding member of the Louisiana Rice Research Board.


Hardwick, of Newellton, has made cotton farming more environmentally friendly by focusing on production techniques that have minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem. His previous honors include the National Cotton Achievement Award, the National Award for Environmental Sustainability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  Environmental Excellence Award. He also serves as chairman of the
American Cotton Producers of the National Cotton Council.


A native of the Bayou Teche area, Viator was reared on his family’s sugarcane farm and has become an active contributor to the agriculture community. He founded one of the state’s most successful crop consulting companies and works closely with the American Sugarcane League, the LSU AgCenter and the USDA.



* Due to Covid19, we were unfortunately unable to obtain a group photo of our 2020 inductees. A group photograph will be forthcoming after our next Hall of Distinction event, in which we will take time to honor the 2020 inductees again once we can all safely gather and present a full event. 

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For the 7th consecutive year, Bayer is the Title Sponsor of the Hall of Distinction.

Event Sponsor:


Presenting Sponsor:



American Sugar Cane League

Cotton Board

First Financial Tax and Accounting Service

Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association

Louisiana Egg Commission

Louisiana Forestry Association

Louisiana Lottery

USA Rice Federation

About the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction


The Hall of Distinction is produced by the Louisiana Radio Network in cooperation with the LSU Ag Center, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. Started in 2013, the Hall of Distinction seeks to recognize those who have made an extraordinary contribution to Agri-business in the state of Louisiana.


Nominations are accepted each summer, and the selection process is completed by the end of the calendar year, with inductees named in early Spring.


You can learn more about the nomination process by clicking on the NOMINATIONS tab above.


The Hall of Distinction thanks all of it's sponsors for making this event possible.

If you ate today, thank a farmer.

© 2020 Louisiana Radio Network