Four area manufacturers receive Louisiana economic development Lantern Awards _lowres

Advocate staff file photo -- The Falcon Rice Mill in Crowley, maker of Cajun Country Rice, is among eight winners of Lantern Awards from the state's economic development department.

Four companies in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette areas are regional winners of the 2016 Lantern Award from Louisiana’s economic development department.

“The Lantern Awards are a valuable recognition of what our leading manufacturers are pursuing to advance company success and the success of the Louisiana manufacturing sector,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said.

One winner is chosen every year from each of Louisiana’s eight regional planning and development districts, based on the contributions of the manufacturers to their communities, including investments in employment growth and facility expansion.

The 2016 Lantern Award winners are:

METHANEX USA LLC, GEISMAR: Methanex in recent years relocated two methanol plants from its production site in Punta Arenas, Chile, to Geismar. Methanex produced methanol from its Geismar 1 plant in January 2015 followed by production from Geismar 2 in December.

BOSCOLI FOODS INC., KENNER: Founded in 1992, the company manufactures Italian gourmet foods. Those include Italian olive salad as a condiment on sandwiches and topping on Italian salads, a product that was expanded to include jalapeno olive salad, kalamata olive salad, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dirty martini juice, stuffed olives, giardiniera, sun-dried tomatoes, a variety of pickled vegetables and capers.

FALCON RICE MILL, CROWLEY: The maker of Cajun Country Rice was founded in 1942. Edward and Evelyn Falcon would purchase rough rice from area farmers in the fall. It was cleaned, treated and resold for seed for spring planting. A milling operation was installed in 1950, selling rice under the names Ed’s, Randy’s and Falcon. Later, other brands were developed to include the Cajun Country brand of long, medium, whole-grain brown, jasmine and popcorn rice.

CONRAD INDUSTRIES INC., MORGAN CITY: Conrad Shipyard specializes in the construction, conversion and repair of marine vessels for commercial and government customers and fabricates modular components for offshore oil and gas drilling rigs and floating production, storage and offloading vessels. The publicly traded company operates five shipyards in south Louisiana and Texas.

Lantern Award winners in the other regions of the state are Howell Industries Inc., Sulphur; UPS Midstream Services, Trout; B. Viz Design, St. Joseph; and Magnolia Steel of Natchitoches Inc.

As part of the Lantern Awards ceremony, the Louisiana Quality Foundation recognized Louisiana Performance Excellence Award winners: the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency in Metairie, Jefferson Business & Career Solutions Centers in Gretna and MMR Group Inc. of Baton Rouge.