When more than a dozen of the Mid-South’s leading rice industry experts choose phrases such as “a leader,” “passionate about rice” and “one of the best” to describe Richard Costello, it comes as no surprise that he is the 2018 winner of the Rice Consultant of the Year award.
Costello, owner of Boeuf Delta Ag Services in Oak Grove, Louisiana, received this prestigious award at a Feb. 28 recognition reception at The Peabody Memphis before the 2019 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis. Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and Rice Farming magazine, the award recognizes dedication, leadership and innovation of this critical segment of the U.S. rice industry.
“In our region of Louisiana, Richard’s expertise regarding rice production decisions is sought out by growers, retailers and many of his fellow consultants,” says Ashley Peters, the Winnsboro, Louisiana, crop consultant who nominated Costello for the award.
“Richard’s record of field experience, professional participation and community support clearly shows that he represents the consulting industry with a positive attitude,” says B. Rogers Leonard, associate vice president of agricultural and natural programs at the LSU AgCenter. “Richard’s personality and work ethic are traits that allowed him to be quite successful as an agricultural consultant. He truly cares about the rice industry and has developed that special trust with his clients that consultants must have to be consistently effective.”
John Saichuk, retired Extension rice specialist for the LSU AgCenter adds, “I cannot think of a more knowledgeable and conscientious agricultural consultant in Louisiana.”
A rice consultant for 14 years, Costello earned his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his doctorate from Louisiana State University with concentrations in entomology and weed science. He is a member of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants, the Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association and the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association and is active in his local Farm Bureau.
In conjunction with his consulting business, Costello operates a research farm where he performs his own field testing on the newest agricultural technology and crop protection products.
“He believes the opportunity to evaluate products prior to a field recommendation gives him more confidence in product performance,” Leonard says.