The Louisiana Master Farmer Program
awarded its first annual Outstanding Master Farmer Award
to Robert Thevis
of Simmesport, Louisiana. Robert and his wife, Sadie, have been involved in production agriculture for over 40 years, and they still farm just under 200 acres of soybeans
in southern Avoyelles Parish
The Master Farmer program was initiated in 2001, and Mr. Thevis was one of the first 13 producers to become certified in 2006. Among many things, Mr. Thevis is currently president of the Avoyelles Parish Farm Bureau, serves on the Rice Research Board
and the Soybean and Feed Grain Research and Promotion Board
, and is listed as one of the Master Farmer Program's "Model Farms." These farms serve as an educational outreach tool for other producers and industry personnel to see BMP demonstrations firsthand.
Ninety-two Certified Master Farmers have completed all requirements of the program, including implementing a comprehensive conservation plan on all property over which they have control.
Because the certification process requires a lengthy amount of time, dedication and resources, the Master Farmer Program and its partners wanted to reward a certified producer who was recognized as a leader in conservation and in the community.
All partnering agencies -- including the LSU AgCenter, Natural Resources Conservation Service, La. Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association -- presented a plaque to Mr. Thevis and his wife at the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting on January 8, 2009 in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Sponsors of the award included a $1,000 check from Louisiana Land Bank and a $1,000 savings bond on behalf of Kevin Stewart and the Gowan Company.
Congratulations to Mr. Thevis on his many accomplishments and this award!