Public concern over the effects of agriculture and forestry production practices on environmental quality has grown in recent years. Louisiana has more than 340 stream segments on the 303(d) list as being impaired (not meeting established standards for oxygen, fecal bacteria and other pollutants). These environmental concerns, along with the need for agricultural producers in Louisiana to be more proficient in production and farm management/marketing to remain economically viable, have led to the multi-agency effort to develop the Louisiana Master Farmer Program. The Louisiana Master Farmer Program is an effort to demonstrate that agricultural producers can and will voluntarily reduce the impact that agricultural production has on Louisiana’s environment.
To become a Master Farmer, one must complete three phases:
Phase 1 Classroom instruction on environmental stewardship related to water quality regulations, conservation practices and USDA conservation funding.
Phase 2 Attendance at Model Farm Field Days, which include on-farm viewing of implemented, commodity-specific conservation practices.
Phase 3 Development of farm-specific conservation plans.
Upon completion of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, producers will be certified in environmental stewardship.