Donna Morgan, Chaney, John A. | 4/24/2007 1:44:38 AM
Because of the success of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, the LSU AgCenter has scheduled a variety of model farm field tours this spring and summer for producers needing to complete the second phase of the program.
The Louisiana Master Farmer program is an environmental education program designed to help farmers and ranchers identify and adopt best management practices. It is intended to help them address environmental concerns, such as water quality, while maximizing their potential productivity.
Model farm visits are vital for the 2,300 participating farmers to complete the second phase of the program toward certification.
"It is critical to offer these tours, so farmers can observe how selected ‘model farm’ producers implement best management practices on commodity-specific farms in their watershed," said LSU AgCenter model farm coordinator Donna Morgan.
Model farms have been selected across the state based on the watersheds and the crops and livestock produced in those areas. By offering the variety of different model farms, the program attempts to offer Master Farmer participants a chance to see how various practices are implemented on farms similar to theirs.
The commodity-specific field days planned for this spring and summer will be offered:
–May 4, 9:30 a.m., for cattle and forage producers at Jim Dupont’s Farm at Lake Charles.
–May 11, 9:30 a.m., cattle, poultry and forage producers, Gary Lirette’s Farm, Marthaville.
–May 25, 8:30 a.m., rice and crawfish producers, Jeff Durand’s Farm, St. Martinville.
–June 1, 9 a.m., row crop producers, Brian Howard’s Farm, Lake Providence.
–June 8, for dairy producers, time and place to be announced.
–July 2, rice and crawfish producers, Kent Lounsberry’s Farm, Lake Arthur.
Morgan said additional field days also will be announced as plans are finalized during the summer.
"These field days are to help producers who have completed first phase of the Master Farmer Program and need to complete the second phase of observing conservation practices being implemented on a farm," Morgan said.
The Louisiana Master Farmer Program involves three phases. The first is an intensive classroom-style educational program on a variety of topics. Then come the field tours of farms where conservation practices have been implemented. Finally, Master Farmer candidates are required to develop and implement a comprehensive conservation plan on their own farms.
For more information or to sign up for the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, contact Donna Morgan at (318) 613-9278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.