Two innovative farmers and an influential forestry leader have been inducted into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction, which honors those who make extraordinary contributions to Louisiana’s agriculture industry. Buck Vandersteen of Alexandria, Mayther Ray Young of Wisner in Franklin Parish and the late James Graugnard Sr. of St. James were inducted on March 2 during a ceremony at L’Auberge Hotel in Baton Rouge.
Vandersteen headed the Louisiana Forestry Association for 34 years, and served as president of the National Council of Forestry Association Executives. He also helped establish the Passage of the Forest Productivity Program, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Forest Stewardship Council and the American Tree Farm program.
After graduating from both Louisiana Tech and LSU, Young opened his own farm, which he operates with his son, Jesse. Young pioneered no-till technology now used on farms throughout the South.
Graugnard was posthumously honored for his lifelong accomplishments in agriculture. Graugnard helped grow the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and was instrumental in forming the Louisiana Farm Bureau Service Co.