Personalities in the News
Herman Waguespack, Jr.
Herman Waguespack, Jr. is the newest IR-4 Commodity Liaison Committee member. Herman earned a B.S. in Agriculture from Nicholls State University. While at Nicholls, he was president of the NSU Ag Club and served as president of Delta Tau Alpha honorary agriculture fraternity. He was named the outstanding AG graduate of 1981 and was a Nicholls Hall of Fame graduate. Upon graduation he worked as a sugarcane farm manager for Caire and Graugnard and for several years worked as a Farm Bureau insurance agent in St. James Parish, LA. In 1985, he began his career as a sugarcane agronomist for the American Sugar Cane League working with researchers and farmers throughout the state to develop new varieties and test new technology for the advancement of the Louisiana sugarcane industry. In 1996 he completed his studies at LSU and graduated with a master’s degree in agronomy. Since 1985, he has worked with the Louisiana sugarcane variety development team to release 20 new sugarcane varieties for commercial production. Sugarcane is a unique commodity. It’s a tropical crop that has been improved through breeding to withstand the temperate environment in Louisiana. Although LA experiences freezing temperatures every year, growers can still successfully produce a sugarcane crop and supply approximately 20% of the domestic sugar (sucrose) supply. Herman recently became involved in the IR-4 program while working with researchers at LSU and USDA to develop a management strategy for a new weed that has been causing major losses in the sugarcane fields. Working with engineers and farmers, the American Sugarcane League agronomists have also conducted studies to help improve mechanical planting and other important tools for the industry.
His hobbies include hunting, fishing, guitar, woodworking, gardening and anything Cajun (especially the food). He and his wife Lisa enjoy living in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Dr. Carolina Simao joined IR-4 as a Program Assistant in 2018. Carolina assists with managing the Protecting Pollinators project within the Environ. Hort. Program. This project brings together scientists from various institutions to research how to protect bees within ornamental horticulture. In her role, she also conducts field work associated with the project, helps develop outreach content, maintains the Protecting Bees website, and contributes to the pollinator-attractiveness database. In her spare time, Dr. Simao enjoys dancing salsa, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Chelsea Bonetti has joined IR-4 as an Research Coordinator and Study Director. Her strong analytical chemistry background and robust knowledge of Good Laboratory Practices brings much needed support for the Food Use Program. Chelsea has seven years of experience in the agroscience industry, which includes working as an Assistant Laboratory Director, Research Scientist and Analytical Chemist for Eurofins Agroscience Services. She also worked as a Research Intern at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM). Chelsea has a Masters of Chemistry in Analytical Chemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science, from the College of Saint Elizabeth.
New Beginnings for Retirees
HQ will miss Marija Arsenovic who retired on Nov. 1, 2018. Marija had been with IR-4 for almost 20 years. She was the Lead Weed Science Biologist and was responsible for managing the Weed Science registrations.
Marija is looking forward to spending more time with her family. Thank you Marija for your service to IR-4.
Connie Scarborough retired on October 8, 2018 after 30 years of service with USDA-ARS. Connie spent her entire career as a laboratory technician at the Crop Protection and Management Research Laboratory in Tifton, GA where she conducted food residue assays in support of the IR-4 Project.