19 graduate La. Master Farmer Program

Bruce Schultz  |  3/7/2018 10:05:06 PM

A new group of graduates who completed the Louisiana Master Farmer Program was recognized during the convention of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts on Jan. 12. From left to right are Ernest Girouard, Louisiana Master Farmer Program director; graduate Tom Walker, of Natchitoches Parish; Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter associate vice president; graduate Brad Judice, of Iberia Parish; graduate Wesley Volentine, of Caddo Parish; graduate Ray Judice, of Iberia Parish; graduate Royce Buford, of Calcasieu Parish; Kevin Norton, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service; graduate Dale Thibodeaux, of Acadia Parish; graduates Dana and Gerard Frey, of Acadia Parish; graduate Ralph Buford, of Calcasieu Parish; and Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Graduates not pictured are Cindy Beard and Renee Cottrell, both of Webster Parish; Jason Benoit, Ross Bruchhaus, Kyle Fontenot and Charles Bruchhaus, all of Jefferson Davis Parish; Randell Fletcher, of Grant Parish; Mary Hardwick, of Tensas Parish; Kelly Precht, of Cameron Parish; and Charles Schultz Jr., of Calcasieu Parish. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

The latest group of Louisiana Master Farmer graduates obtaining recertification was recognized Jan. 12 at the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts. From left to right are Dana Shuff, of Grant Parish; Glenn Austin, of Winn Parish; Ernest Girouard, Louisiana Master Farmer Program director; Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter associate vice president; C.J. Durand, of St. Martin Parish; Ken Norton, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Allen Schriefer, of Vermilion Parish; Daniel Durand, Edgar Durand, Jeff Durand, all of St. Martin Parish; and Mike Strain; commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Not shown are Dennis Courtright and Paula Courtright, both of Grant Parish; Jess Crosier and Gregory Durand, both of St. Martin Parish; Martin Frey, J. A. Rummler, Jens Rummler and Wesley Jones, all of Pointe Coupee Parish; Harvey Gonsoulin, of Iberia Parish; Jay Hardwick, of Tensas Parish; John Lance Harris and Clay Robertson, both of Rapides Parish; Kevin Landry, Kent Lounsberry, George Sagrera and Mark Sagrera, all of Vermilion Parish; Dezere Richard, of Calcasieu Parish. (Photo by Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter)

News Release Distributed 01/13/16

LAFAYETTE, La. – The newest graduates of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program were honored Jan. 12 during the annual convention of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts.

Nineteen graduates of the program were recognized, along with 24 previous graduates who were recertified.

Also, Scott and Angie Tyler, of Lincoln Parish, received the Outstanding Master Farmer Award.

Rogers Leonard, LSU AgCenter associate vice president, said participating in the Louisiana Master Farmer Program is “a welcome opportunity to do the right thing.”

The Master Farmer program is a cooperative effort among the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Farm Bureau, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “There’s no way any of these single entities could put a program like this in place,” Leonard said.

Scott and Angie Tyler have a long list of accomplishments that were considered in their selection as Outstanding Master Farmer, Leonard said. They were certified in 2010, and they have a broiler and cattle operation.

Using several conservation measures, such as drop pipes and filter beds, the Tylers have met the challenges posed by the hilly terrain on their farm with a nutrient management plan.

They also have converted discarded cooking oil into fuel for 14 years.

The couple has traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for agricultural interests, meeting with Gina McCarthy, administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

James Hendrix, Louisiana Master Farmer area agent in north Louisiana, said the Tylers have become role models for agriculture. “Angie and Scott are producers that represent the future of agricultural sustainability,” he said.

The couple demonstrates the effectiveness of conservation practices. “They further the mission of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program by outreach and by showcasing the benefits of best management practices to other producers,” Hendrix said.

Ernest Girouard, Louisiana Master Farmer Program coordinator, said several environmental issues affecting agricultural producers have risen to the national level, increasing interest in the Master Farmer program. “We can be at the forefront in addressing those issues,” he said.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said conservation measures in the Master Farmer program are essential to protecting natural resources.

“Conservation is the key,” Strain said. “Without conservation, without sustainability, we will not have productivity or profitability.”

Graduates obtaining certification were Cindy Beard, of Webster Parish; Jason Benoit, Charles Bruchhaus, Ross Bruchhaus and Kyle Fontenot, all of Jefferson Davis Parish; Ralph Buford, Royce Buford and Charles Schultz Jr., all of Calcasieu Parish; Renee Cottrell, of Webster Parish; Randell Fletcher, of Grant Parish; Dana Frey, Gerard Frey and Dale Thibodeaux, all of Acadia Parish; Mary Hardwick, of Tensas Parish; Brad Judice and Ray Judice, both of Iberia Parish; Kelly Precht, of Cameron Parish; Wesley Volentine, of Caddo Parish, and Lesley Tom Walker, of Natchitoches Parish.

Those who were recertified are Glenn Austin, of Winn Parish; Dennis Courtright and Paula Courtright, both of Grant Parish; Jess Crosier, C.J. Durand, Daniel Durand, Greg Durand, Edgar Durand and Jeff Durand, all of St. Martin Parish; Martin Frey, Wesley Jones, J.A. Rummler and Jens Rummler, all of Pointe Coupee Parish; Harvey Gonsoulin, of Iberia Parish; Jay Hardwick, of Tensas Parish; John Lance Harris and Clay Robertson, both of Rapides Parish; Kevin Landry, Kent Lounsberry, George Sagrera, Mark Sagrera and Allen Schriefer, all of Vermilion Parish; Dezere Richard, of Calcasieu Parish; and Dana Shuff of Grant Parish.

The next Louisiana Master Farmer class will be held April 6 for phases I and II at the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station at LSU of Alexandria. For more information, contact Donna Morgan at 318-613-9278 or by email.  

Bruce Schultz

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