Carrie Mendoza, Schultz, Bruce | 6/9/2005 2:59:22 AM
The LSU AgCenter will hold a Model Farm Field Day June 17 for rice and crawfish producers in the Teche-Vermilion watershed.
The field day is intended for participants in the LSU AgCenter’s Master Farmer program and will enable them to complete the second phase of the three-phase educational program.
Carrie Mendoza, who coordinates the Master Farmer program for the LSU AgCenter, said farmers will get a first-hand look at conservation practices at a farm in St. Martin Parish.
"Rice and crawfish farmers will get the opportunity to see some of the innovative ways best management practices are being implemented," she said. "They also will be able to ask other producers, specialists and researchers questions about implementation."
Topics will include a model farm overview, identification of water quality challenges and prescribed practices for rice and crawfish operations, conservation plan development, irrigation water management, precision agriculture and other conservation-related topics.
The day starts with registration at Durand Farms near St. Martinville from 8:30 a.m. until the field tour starts at 9 a.m.
Speakers will include Donna Morgan, LSU AgCenter extension associate; farmer Jeff Durand; Emmett Wilson of the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Dr. Bill Branch, LSU AgCenter engineering professor; Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist; Dr. Ray McClain, LSU AgCenter crawfish specialist; and Thomas Hymel, LSU AgCenter watershed agent for the Teche-Vermilion District.
The day’s activities will include lunch, which will be served at 12:30 p.m.
The Teche-Vermilion watershed includes the parishes of St. Martin, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Mary, Vermilion, St. Landry, Avoyelles, Rapides and Evangeline.
The LSU AgCenter’s Master Farmer program encourage farmers to voluntarily change some of their practices to prevent further governmental regulations. It includes classroom instruction on conservation and production practices, visits to model farms to learn more about such topics and the eventual implementation of best management practices on individual farms.
"This program offers farmers the chance to voluntarily improve water quality by applying proven agricultural best management practices," said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension.
Coreil said the Master Farmer program continues to be recognized nationally, with several other states around the country now using it to establish their own agricultural stewardship programs.
For more information on the field day or to register to participate, call Kathryn Toups at (225) 578-2906.