Benjamin Legendre devoted his career to Louisiana’s sugar cane industry.
Legendre, who died in July at age 73, spent more than 30 years at the USDA sugar cane research center Houma. He spent another 17 years with the LSU AgCenter, serving as a sugar cane specialist, professor and head of the the Audubon Sugar Institute.
Legendre’s family and members of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists have created the Benjamin L. Legendre Sugar Heritage Professorship, which will support AgCenter faculty and LSU agriculture students.
Stephanie Pertuit, one of Legendre’s four children, said sugar cane was the world to her father.
“He ate, breathed and lived it,” Pertuit said. “Almost every single memory of my dad involves sugar cane.”
Pertuit said the endowment seemed like a natural way to honor him.
“He loved sugar cane, LSU and teaching. I couldn’t think of a better way to combine these loves and leave an indelible mark that will benefit generations to come,” she said.
Kenneth Gravois, LSU AgCenter sugar cane specialist and secretary and treasurer of the society’s Louisiana Division, said Legendre always had a close connection with the organization.
“He spent 30 years as the association’s chairman at large, held institutional knowledge of the association and provided continuity and stability,” Gravois said.
Born in Thibodaux, Legendre grew up in the shadow of a sugar cane mill, where his father was the president and general manager of Lafourche Sugars Corp.
Gravois said Legendre was an international authority on sugar cane breeding and quality and was recognized for his work on plant growth regulators as chemical ripeners for sugar cane.
Legendre received many accolades throughout his career. He was awarded the Denver T. Loupe/American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Sugar Heritage Professorship, was inducted into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Fame and was chosen as an LSU College of Agriculture Outstanding Alumnus, among many other awards.
Legendre’s daughter Nicole Flanagan said she was humbled that the Sugar Cane Technologists Society would chose to keep her father’s legacy alive with the endowment.
“I think he would be very pleased to be remembered this way,” she said.
Contributions to the endowment can be made online at http://ift.tt/2jXJNfN.
via Houma Today http://ift.tt/1f4iOGd
December 14, 2017 at 03:53PM
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