(04/26/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — Eight Master Farmer recertifications and the 2021 Louisiana Outstanding Master Farmer award were presented during a meeting of the Louisiana Association of Conservation April 20 in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana Master Farmer Program is a multiagency effort led by the LSU AgCenter that teaches about conservation and environmental stewardship. It was created more than two decades ago to help producers improve soil health, water quality and sustainability.
“Even with all of the challenges of the last couple of years with COVID, rising input costs and supply issues, producers are still moving forward to improve their operation and long-term commitments to sustainability,” said Donna Gentry, coordinator of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program.
To become a Master Farmer, participants must participate in educational sessions about environmental stewardship, attend a conservation-based field day and develop plans for implementing conservation practices on their farms. To maintain the Master Farmer designation, they must meet continuing education requirements and be recertified every five years.
The 2021 recipients join the 353 that have been certified or recertified since 2006.
Recertifications were given to John W. Boudreaux, Vermilion Parish; Shannon Daboval, Jefferson Davis Parish; Joel Lounsberry, Vermilion Parish; Allen Schriefer, Vermilion Parish; Donald Simon, Lafayette Parish; Danny Suggs, Lincoln Parish; Roy Varnado, Acadia Parish; and Bill Wild and Tim Wild, of Bayou Land Farms General Partnership, Jefferson Davis Parish.
Dwayne Compton, who received the Outstanding Master Farmer award, is a rice and crawfish producer who has been active for more than 30 years in Jefferson Davis Parish. An advocate for improving water quality, soil sampling and nutrient management, Compton understands the necessity of sustainable farming practices.
“Dwayne is recognized by his peers and community for his love and passion for agriculture, and it shows in his farming operation,” Gentry said. “His involvement in conservation programs and dedication to this industry made him an excellent candidate for this award.”
Compton was presented a plaque and two $1,000 awards sponsored by the Louisiana Land Bank and Gowan Company.
In addition to the AgCenter, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service help coordinate the Master Farmer Program.
Dwayne Compton, of Jefferson Davis Parish, was named the 2021 Outstanding Master Farmer. He is pictured with Stephen Austin from Louisiana Land Bank and Eric Bergeron with the Gowan Company, who each presented him with a check for $1,000. Photo by V. Todd Miller/LSU AgCenter
2021 Master Farmer recertifications were awarded to, from left to right, John W. Boudreaux, Roy Varnado, Tim Wild (accepting for himself and his brother Bill Wild), Allen Schriefer and Mark Simon (accepting for his father Donald Simon) April 20 in Baton Rouge. Photo by V. Todd Miller/LSU AgCenter