COMMENDING KEVIN M. BERKEN, FOR BEING SELECTED RICE FARMER OF THE YEAR FOR THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL IN CROWLEY, LA.
(Extensions of Remarks - October 13, 2011)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1864]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


COMMENDING KEVIN M. BERKEN, FOR BEING SELECTED RICE FARMER OF THE YEAR 
        FOR THE 2011 INTERNATIONAL RICE FESTIVAL IN CROWLEY, LA.

                                 ______
                                 

                     HON. CHARLES W. BOUSTANY, JR.

                              of louisiana

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, October 13, 2011

  Mr. BOUSTANY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend congratulations to 
Kevin M. Berken for being selected Rice Farmer of the Year for the 2011 
International Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana.
  For 15 years, Kevin has been farming rice and soybean crops, 
contributing to the active agricultural base in Louisiana. Growing up 
on a farm, he has long been familiar with the intricacies of 
agricultural production. Since 1996, his operation has steadily 
increased to over 1,300 acres of rice, 500 acres of soybean, and 200 
acres of wheat.
  Actively involved in the agricultural community, Kevin is chairman 
and co-founder of the Louisiana Rice Political Action Committee, and 
chairman of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board. His community 
involvement extends to several other farming and rice related 
organizations including the Louisiana Farm Bureau.
  Before continuing the family tradition of farming, Kevin moved to San 
Diego, California to begin a real estate career. It was there he met 
his wife, Shirley, and in 1997, they had a son named Adam. After years 
of success in the real estate arena, the Berkens moved back to 
Louisiana to continue his real estate ventures. However, learning his 
father had been diagnosed with cancer; Kevin decided to forgo acquiring 
a Louisiana real estate license and instead turned toward farming.
  Kevin graduated from St. Maria Goretti Catholic School in Lake Arthur 
in 1979, and in 2003, went on to earn his Bachelor of Science from 
McNeese State University. While attending McNeese, he belonged to Delta 
Tau Alpha Agricultural Honor Society.
  I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to Kevin M. Berken for his 
dedication to the continued agricultural excellence of Louisiana and 
congratulate him on being named 2011 Rice Farmer of the Year. I am 
honored to be his representative in Congress.

                          ____________________