Richard Bogren, Morgan, Donna S. | 6/5/2009 7:22:16 PM
Agricultural producers aspiring to be Louisiana Master Farmers can choose among 11 events scheduled for 2009 to help them meet the requirements for the program, according to Donna Morgan, LSU AgCenter agent in Alexandria, La.
“Initiated just over eight years ago, the Master Farmer program has grown and developed into one of the most widely known and successful environmental stewardship programs in the southern states,” Morgan said. “Louisiana is the first and only state to offer this type of voluntary producer-certification program, and the support is evident in the growing number of producers enrolled.”
The program is a cooperative effort of the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Farm Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, she said.
Producers are required to complete three phases of the program and fulfill other necessary requirements, including eight hours of environmental instruction, attendance at a “model farm” or program field day where conservation-related topics are discussed and developing and implementing a comprehensive conservation plan on their entire farming operations, Morgan said.
“As of January 2009, 92 agricultural producers have completed these requirements and are certified,” Morgan said. More than 2,500 producers are participating in the program.
Field days and workshops that will fulfill the Phase II requirement will be held on the following dates at the locations indicated in 2009:
–June 16, Stephen Logan Farm, Gilliam (row-crops)
–June 17, LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station Field Day, St. Joe (row crops)
–June 18, LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station Field Day, Bossier (row-crops)
–June 18, Precision Ag Workshop, Donovan Taves Farm, Lake Providence (row-crops)
–July 7, Kent Lounsberry Farm (Vermilion Parish rice tour), Lake Arthur (rice)
–July 8 , Rougon-Jones-Rummler Farm, New Roads (sugarcane)
–July 14, Paul Hylan Farm (pasture walk), Athens (cattle/forages)
–July 17, Wiggers Farm, Winnsboro (row-crops)
–July 22, Iberia-St. Mary-Vermilion Parish sugarcane tour at a location to be announced
–August 20, LSU AgCenter’s Dean Lee Research and Extension Station field day, Alexandria (row-crops)
–October 1, LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm field day, Homer (cattle/forages)
–Fall (TBA), Raymond Fontenot Farm, Abbeville (cattle)
–Fall (TBA), Iberia Parish cattle field day, location to be announced
These field days will also serve as continuing education credits for producers who already are certified, Morgan said.