Jun 7, 2013 6:14 PM by MELISSA CANONE
American Sugar Cane League President Mike Daigle said the League has selected Daniel J. Viator of Youngsville as the recipient of the organization's Outstanding Service award for 2013.
"Mr. Viator was an outstanding sugarcane farmer and member of the League for many years," Daigle said. "He has always exemplified the highest standards as a farmer and as a League member. It is for those reasons we're proud to honor him with this award."
Viator said he was humbled by the recognition.
"This is a big honor to me and my family," Viator said. "The sugarcane industry has always been dear to me and this award, coming from my peers, is deeply appreciated."
Viator is a native of New Iberia and a graduate of Franklin High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a Ph.D. in plant breeding from Louisiana State University.
He served as a research assistant with LSU Agronomy and was the former owner of the 2,200-acre Triple V Farms of Youngsville and part-owner of the 1,100-acre Viator Farms of Jeanerette.
He retired from farming in 2008, but remains active on the Louisiana Sugar Cane Foundation board of directors and the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival board of directors.
His long service in the farming industry also includes a stint on the American Sugar Cane League board from 1979 - 2010 and as president of the League in 1991-92. He was also the League's finance committee chairman for many years and served on several other League committees.
Viator's list of honors is long. He was a "High-Yield" farmer for several years dating back to 1977. He was recognized with the 1978 Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer, the 1978 Outstanding Soil Conservation Award, the 1982 Outstanding USL Agriculture Alumni and the Sugarcane Festival's 1994 King Sucrose LIII (53).
Viator is also a member of the American Society of Sugarcane Technologists, Louisiana Association of Agronomists and Lafayette Farm Bureau. He also serves as chairman of the First South Bank board of directors and the treasurer of the St. Anne's Knights of Columbus in Youngsville.
Viator resides in Youngsville with his wife, Mary. He has four step-children, Jeannine, Margaret, Patrick, and Adam. He also has three step-grand-children, Brayden, Emmerson, and Finn.
Viator said he stays busy making wine and volunteering his time "for anyone who needs him."