Plaquemine sugarcane farmer John Gay was honored by the American Sugar Cane League and received the President’s Award, the highest honor the League bestows upon a member.
Charles Schudmak, League president and CEO of Cora-Texas Manufacturing Company Factory in White Castle, La., presented the award to Gay at the League’s annual meeting held February 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.
PHOTOS: (above, left to right) American Sugar Cane League manager Jim Simon, John Gay, Charles Schudmak.
(below) John Gay's family surprised him and observed the President's Award presentation by League president Charles Schudmak.
"It’s been an honor to serve this industry and to work with so many of the people involved in sugarcane and to see the dedication and the love for what you do,” Gay said. "Let’s keep this all going with the same tempo and same success as our forefathers did.”
Gay is a past president of the League and was chosen as the Sugarcane Festival’s King Sucrose LII in 1993. He has also served in leadership roles with the Louisiana Division of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, Iberville Parish Farm Bureau, Plaquemine Rotary Club, and the Secretariat for the Louisiana Cursillo.
He also serves in the Lower Delta Soil and Water Conservation District, the LSU Agricultural Leadership Program, Iberville Parish Farm Service Agency, the Cane Equipment Co-op and the Miss Iberville Parish (Sugar Queen) Committee. He is the warden of the Plaquemine Protestant Cemetery, the past senior warden of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, a past member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and a member of the Commission on Ministry for the Diocese.
Gay’s family has been a fixture in the sugarcane industry and Plaquemine for seven generations. His great-great grandfather, Edward J. Gay, was the first president of the American Sugar Cane Exchange. His great-grandfather, Andrew H. Gay, was first president of the American Sugar Cane League. His grandfather, Senator Edward J. Gay, was the ninth president of the League and his father, Andrew P. Gay, was the 22nd President of the American Sugar Cane League.
Gay is the owner of St. Louis Planting and manages more than 4,500 acres of farmland in Iberville Parish.
He and his wife, Karen, have four daughters, three sons-in-law and five grandchildren.