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March 22, 2018
Siebenmorgen receives Distinguished Service Award for contributions to rice industry
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Terry Siebenmorgen, director of the University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture’s Rice Processing Program, received the Rice Technical Working
Group Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s biennial meeting last month
in Long Beach, Calif.
The award recognizes Siebenmorgen’s career-long research to improve post-harvest rice
“Dr. Siebenmorgen has dedicated his career to serving the rice industry and his research
has had tremendous impact and real world applications,” said Jean-François Meullenet,
interim director of the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural Experiment
Station. “I am thrilled for Terry to be receiving this award from the Rice Technical
Working Group. Well deserved”
Siebenmorgen’s research and outreach program has focused on rice process engineering.
The scope of his work ranges from preharvest property characterization, through drying,
storage, milling, and end-use quality evaluation.
Often describing himself as an agricultural engineer, Siebenmorgen has crossed the
lines of scientific disciplines to paint a complete picture of what goes on during
Using an integrated approach that involves polymer chemistry, cereal chemistry, and
crop physiology, Siebenmorgen’s research has improved understanding of the development,
composition and processing behavior of individual rice kernels.
He developed and tested the “glass transition hypothesis” concerning how rice kernels
change in physical and chemical structure because of heating during drying. Subsequent
research showed that under certain conditions, this process can lead to some kernels
fissuring and then breaking during milling. More precision in harvesting rice at ideal
moisture content and adjusting drying methods led to greater milling yields and improved
food quality and value.
Among other revelations, Siebenmorgen’s research showed that pre-harvest conditions,
such as high highttime air temperatures had an impact on post-harvest quality and
milling yields. Understanding the physical and chemical activity in rice kernels during
harvest and processing led to industry adoption of solutions that have improved food
quality in the rice industry.
Siebenmorgen also developed new research procedures that changed how scientists think
about rice. Among these, he pioneered kernel-to-kernel technology that rapidly measures
individual kernel properties. He also implemented automated imaging technology and
other systems that more quickly and accurately measure and assess rice kernel characteristics.
“Dr. Siebenmorgen is recognized in the U.S. rice industry as the leader in post-harvest
rice research,” said Keith Glover, president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill, Inc.,
of Stuttgart, Ark.
Dean Oliver, director of Innovation & Technical Services, and Michael Smith, vice
president for Quality & Innovation, both of Riceland Foods, co-signed a letter supporting
Siebenmorgen’s nominations for the award.
“Dr. Siebenmorgen has invested his career in providing practical research to develop
real solutions to some of the rice processing industry’s greatest opportunities,”
they said in the letter. “A mentor to dozens of students who have come through his
program and a true friend to many colleagues around the world.”
During his career at the University of Arkansas, Siebenmorgen built his research into
a broader program, combining the expertise of collaborating food science researchers,
laboratory staff and graduate students into the Rice Processing Program, based at
the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center
To make sure the program’s research was meeting the needs of the rice industry and
consumers, Siebenmorgen recruited food companies from across the U.S. to form the
Rice Industry Alliance, which now holds annual meetings to share research and solicit
feedback from the industry.
“Forming the Rice Industry Alliance was a stroke of genius,” said Nathan McKinney,
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station assistant director and interim director of
the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart.
“Holding the Alliance together and keeping it relevant over 25 years is evidence of
remarkable leadership,” McKinney said.
Siebenmorgen is quick to share credit for his success.
“With any recognition there are so many people to thank,” Siebenmorgen said.
“There are countless faculty, administrator and staff colleagues and graduate students
who contribute to our work,” he said. “I couldn’t do this without them. And we have
tremendous industry support, without which we couldn’t have come this far.”
“I’m grateful to everyone who has worked with me and supported me for this career-level
award,” Siebenmorgen said.
The Rice Technical Working Group brings together rice researchers from seven major
rice producing states — Arkansas, Califoria, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri
and Texas — to encourage a continuous exchange of information, cooperative planning
and periodic review of rice research and extension programs. The RTWG also develops
research proposals for participating institutions.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Fred Miller
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment StationU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Fred MillerCommunication ServicesU of A Division of Agriculture(479) email@example.com