Current Class

Current class of the Agricultural Leadership Development Program for 2023-2025.

Seminars and Tours

Abram Glaser.

Abram Glaser

Abram Glaser was born and raised in Oscar, Louisiana. He has made many accomplishments throughout his career. He currently is a partner in Glaser Farms Partnership. Abram operates and manages a sugarcane and grain operation in the parishes of Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge. In 2019, Abram started a cattle company. While not on the farm, he operates a cattle company, AG Cattle, LLC. Abram specializes in producing golden, certified F-1s. Abram is an avid outdoorsman. He can be found deep sea fishing, duck hunting, and deer hunting in his spare time.

Alex Williams.

Alex Williams

Alex Williams is a 6th generation farmer from Avoyelles Parish. He is a former draft pick of Chicago White Sox. Alex graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2012. In 2017, he graduated from Louisiana State University Law School in 2017 and is now a licensed attorney in Louisiana. In February of 2021, Alex and his wife, Elizabeth began planting and harvesting about 500 acres of soybeans. Their production has now expanded to cotton and corn locally in Vick, La

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Berry Balfour

Berry was born and raised in Tensas Parish in an agricultural family. The family farm has been managed by five generations of Burnsides, growing cotton, corn, and soybeans. Berry attended the University of Mississippi and moved to Baton Rouge upon graduation. She has been working in the political arena for 22 years, mostly in the lobbying realm, focusing on healthcare, telecommunications, and a myriad of other issues. She is married to Kelly Balfour and has a daughter and two stepsons. In her free time, she likes to fish, cook and travel.

Cliff Dailey 2023.

Cliff Dailey

Cliff was raised in Extension, La on the family row crop and cattle farm. His experiences of hunting and working on the farm led him to pursue a career as a Wildlife Biologist. He attended Louisiana Tech University for his undergraduate degree (Wildlife Conservation) and then Mississippi State University for a graduate degree (Wildlife & Fisheries Science).He was soon hired with the La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries and has spent the last 15 years managing state wildlife areas in central Louisiana. He also owns and operates a small cut flower and produce farm with his wife Ashley in Boyce, La. His two “farm kids”, Jack and Julia, assist with crop growing, harvest, and sales. Cliff enjoys hunting woodcock with his kids and bird dog Meg.

Drake Viator 2023.

Drake Viator

Drake Viator is from New Iberia, Louisiana. Drake is a proud, 4th generation sugarcane farmer born and raised on the same farm where he now works with his father and cousins. He also serves on the board for Iberia Parish Farm Bureau.

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Frank Sotile, III

Frank Sotile III is a fourth-generation sugarcane farmer from Donaldsonville, LA. Frankie was raised on the farm where he now works alongside his grandfather, Frank Sr., his father, Frank Jr., and his brother, Alex. Frankie attended Southeastern Louisiana University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Frankie manages Sotile Farms with sugarcane operations in Ascension, Assumption, St. James, and Iberville parishes. He resides in Gonzales, LA with his wife, Mallory, and two sons, Frank IV and James.

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Jarrod Sellar

Jarrod Sellar is a Vice President and Branch Manager of the Monroe and Tallulah branches of Louisiana Land Bank, ACA (LLB).He has worked for LLB for nearly 13 years beginning as the bank’s first credit analyst in 2010.He, his wife, Meghan, and daughter, Caroline, live in Jarrod’s hometown of West Monroe, LA. Jarrod received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Louisiana State University in 2007 and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2009 from The University of Louisiana at Monroe. In 2016 Jarrod received his diploma from The Graduate School of Banking at LSU, where he furthered his knowledge of the complex banking industry. Jarrod has always enjoyed spending time on his family’s timber lands and row crop farm in Northeast Louisiana. His position with LLB allows him to be involved in many different forms of agriculture daily and help his customers across the state of Louisiana achieve their goals owning and growing agricultural enterprises.

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Jeff Simoneaux

Jeff Simoneaux is the Product Verification and Validation Manager at John Deere Thibodaux where he is responsible for testing and evaluation of sugarcane harvesters and earthmoving scrapers. In this role, he leads a team that performs virtual simulations, accelerated lab testing, and field testing on cane farms in Louisiana and around the world. He graduated from LSU with a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering and started his career as a Design Engineer at Cameco Industries in Thibodaux. His interest in agriculture started in childhood from vegetable farming and selling at markets with his father and both grandfathers. Jeff resides in Burnside LA with his wife Christie and children Bella, Sophia and Luke.

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Jessie Hoover

Jessie Hoover is a County Agent with the LSU AgCenter covering horticulture in East Feliciana, West Feliciana, and St. Helena parishes. She works with farmers and homeowners promoting horticulture education and best management practices. She also coordinates the Feliciana Master Gardener group and serves as the secretary of the Feliciana Forestry Association. Jessie received her bachelor’s degree from LSU in 2008 in Agriculture Education and finished her master’s degree in 2019 in Agriculture Extension, Education, and Evaluation. Jessie resides in Clinton, LA and enjoys helping her family with their cow/calf operation and traveling.

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John Laborde

John Laborde is a 4th generation grain and beef producer from Avoyelles Parish. He grew up and worked on the family farm as a boy before attending LSU and majoring in Construction Management. He worked in the heavy civil and deep foundation industry for 15 years. In 2017, he decided to go back to his agricultural roots and work with his father on the family farm where together they grow corn, soybeans, sorghum, crawfish, and beef cattle. John enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time and is an avid Tigers football and baseball fan.

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Jordan Garcia

Jordan graduated from the LSU College of Ag in December of 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and Economics. Jordan has been employed with Zen-Noh Grain since graduation, a privately owned agricultural company that specializes in the export of more than 600 million bushels of grain annually out of the Gulf through its export elevator located on the Mississippi River. He has held a variety of positions within ZGC including safety, grain merchandising, operational logistics and management of grain handling facilities both at the local and regional levels. Jordan is a current member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), where he served as President of the Gulf South Chapter in 2015. Jordan currently lives in Madisonville, LA with his wife Samantha and son Lucas, and is a die-hard LSU Sports fan. Geaux Tigers!

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Katie Richard

Katie Richard works at the USDA Sugarcane Research Unit located in Houma, LA where she is a senior Agricultural Science Research Technician in the Crop Production and Protection Unit. Her main research is focused on sugarcane fertility, cultural practices, and precision agriculture. She is an FAA licensed drone pilot and routinely collects aerial imagery from sugarcane fields throughout Louisiana. She graduated from Nicholls State University with a B.S. in Agribusiness with a Concentration in Production with minors in Plant Science, Animal Science and Business Management. Katie is a member of the Nicholls Ag Alumni where she currently serves as the secretary. She also volunteers her time to many local organizations. She currently resides in Raceland, LA with her husband Randy Richard (Class XVII) and two stepchildren, Parker and Olivia.

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Lance Roblin

Lance Roblin is from Bordelonville, Louisiana where he resides with his wife, Jenny and their daughter, Vayda. Lance was born and raised on a cotton and grain farm where he is now co-owner of Roblin Farms with his father, Clay. He attended Louisiana State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business. Lance farms soybeans, corn, milo, and cotton. He is also a member of the Avoyelles Parish Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers.

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Laura Hebert

Laura Hebert is a 2015 graduate of UL. She was born and raised in Maurice Louisiana where she currently works on her family farm with her father. She is a fourth-generation rice and crawfish farmer and farms/manages around 2000 acres. Laura plans to one day run her own boiling spot and to continue expanding her knowledge in the farming industry by farming sugarcane. She is also active in Vermilion Young Farmers and Ranchers and currently holds the Vice Chairman position. In Laura’s spare time she enjoys duck hunting, frogging, and taking a stroll in her classic truck.

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Le Fife

Le Fife grew up in the Mississippi Delta on a large cotton, rice, soybean and corn farm. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in marketing management. She also has a master's degree in agricultural management from Mississippi State University. She lives in Rayville, La with her husband, Hunter and their children. They operate 4H Cattle Farms, LLC together with grass fed beef cattle and hay.

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Marcus Rutherford

Marcus Rutherford works as the Forester at A. Wilbert’s Sons, LLC. where he oversees the day-to-day timber management operations on approximately 95,000 acres of bottomland hardwood timber. Additionally, Marcus assists with monitoring mitigation bank vegetation, creating and enhancing wildlife habitats, and hunting lease management. He is the Chair of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and is a member of the Louisiana Forestry Association and the Southern Hardwood Forest Research Group. Born and raised in the rural farmlands of central Illinois, Marcus earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He moved to Louisiana to attend graduate school at LSU, earning a Master of Science degree in Renewable Natural Resources. Marcus and his wife, Kelsey, live in Plaquemine with their two lovely daughters. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys hunting, cooking, sports, and homebrewing.

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Mark Martin

Mark Martin works for Progressive Tractor & Implement Co., L.L.C. Mark is currently learning the sales side of the business and helps assist with any customer needs out of the New Roads, Parks, and Cecilia, LA locations. He hopes to follow in his grandfather and uncle's footsteps by continuing to learn all aspects of the business and grow the business throughout the southern region. Mark grew up in Baton Rouge, LA and received his bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from LSU. He now lives in Lafayette, LA. He is excited to meet new people and learn to be a better leader while in the LSU Ag Leadership program. When he’s not selling equipment, Mark enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.

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Matt David

Guy Matthew David, Jr. (BS, Agricultural Business) McNeese State University, 2013.Matthew is a native of Acadia Parish and is currently serving as Communications & Operations Manager for Sugar Growers & Refiners, Inc. (“SGR”), an agricultural marketing cooperative located in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Matthew has served in his current position since 2017 and coordinates numerous onsite personal meetings throughout the year with their cooperative members, acting as the face of SGR. These meetings allow SGR the opportunity to answer questions, hear and address any concerns, and in some cases, provide detailed information about changes in the industry, and changes that may be taking place within the cooperative. Matthew is actively involved in providing and inputting critical data for SGR’s Board Meetings, as well as hosting SGR’s Annual Meeting with its cooperative members, wherein he provides valuable insight in crop production analysis, problem solving, and building and establishing long lasting, trusting relationships with SGR members.

Since a young age, I have been passionate about all facets of agriculture, from the crops in the field, to the cattle in the pasture, which prompted me to pursue my degree in agriculture, and drove me to secure a career in this industry. I am focused and excited to expand my knowledge through the LSU Ag Leadership Course, which will allow me to become a more informed steward and a better leader within the Agricultural Industry.

Matthew has been married to his wife Catherine since 2016, and they have two children, Ryder Easton, age 5 and Lilly Grace, age 3. In his downtime Matthew enjoys spending time with his family, caring for his children’s show cattle, and teaching his children all about caring for those animals. Matthew also enjoys attending, participating, and sometimes judging cattle shows

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Matt Gwin

Matt Gwin is a Program Specialist for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). He oversees the administration of Farm Programs, interprets government policy/regulations, and explains program provisions to employees and producers. A native of Franklin Parish, he began his agriculture career at Macon Ridge LSU Research Station as a student worker for five summers under Dr. Rogers Leonard. He then worked four summers as a field scout for Young and Young Consulting. Matt received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, with a minor in Agronomy. After graduation, he worked as an LSU AgCenter Extension Agent in Richland Parish. He now resides in Alexandria, LA with his best friend/wife, Lisa, and their two amazing children, Carter and Ella, where he has been with FSA since 2010. Matt is eager to combine the teachings of this program with his experience and passion, to make a positive impact in the Louisiana Agriculture Community.

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Matthew Dennis

Matt Dennis is a third-generation farmer in northeast Louisiana. Matt and his dad grow soybeans, corn, and rice. He grew up in Transylvania and graduated high school from Briarfield Academy. As long as he can remember he has been on a farm and dreamed of being a farmer. In 2021, Matt won the Louisiana Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year becoming a third-generation in his family to win. He ranked inside the top ten in the country. Matt has recently started raising cattle and plans to keep growing the operation. Matt’s other hobbies include flying in his plane, playing golf and hunting.

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Nicholas Gerace

Nicholas Gerace is a fourth-generation farmer from Bayou Current, Louisiana.He and his wife of eleven years, Courtney, are raising five children on their farm. He grew up farming soybeans, corn, and milo.Today, he operates his own sugarcane farm along with raising cattle with his wife.Nicholas is an avid outdoorsman.His passion is taking care of the land and resources available to him and preserving it for generations to come.He is also an active member of Farm Bureau.He sits on the St. Landry Parish executive board, as well as holding Chair for Young Farmers and Ranchers at both the parish and district levels.

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Renee Naquin

Renee Naquin began her career with the LSU AgCenter in 1997 as a 4-H Agent in Assumption parish. In 2008 she transferred to the position of 4-H Regional Coordinator for the 16-parish area of the Southeast Region. In 2021 she transferred to Ag and Natural Resources position where she works with sugarcane and soybeans growers in 7 parishes. She also still has a small role in 4-H working with the livestock program. Renee is a graduate of Nicolls State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Business and a two-time graduate of Louisiana State University with an M.S. in Ag Education and a Ph.D. in Human Resource Education. She resides in Thibodaux, along Bayou Lafourche with her daughter Mackenzie.

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Sandor Garcia

Sandor Garcia serves as a Commercial Manager for M.A. Patout & Son, in Jeanerette, Louisiana. He oversees the sales and marketing, logistics, and commercial relationships for the Patout Group. M.A. Patout is a family company who owns and operates three raw sugar factories across South Louisiana, where nearly a third of the state’s sugarcane is processes into raw sugar and molasses. In his role he strives to provide industry leading returns for producers, landowners, owners, and various stakeholders. Sandor is a Graduate from University of Louisiana in Lafayette. Upon graduation, he took a trainee position at M.A. Patout, where he was developed personally and professionally under the mentorship of many industry leaders within the organization. In 2017, Sandor earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University of the Cumberlands. Sandor was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, and lives in Lafayette, Louisiana with his Fiancée, Morgan.

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Shelby Duplantis

Shelby Duplantis is from New Iberia, LA. She and her husband Alex are proud parents of two young sons. Currently she is employed at Jaime Segura Farms, LLC overseeing 3,000 acres of sugarcane in St. Mary Parish. In 2015, Duplantis along with two family members started a crawfishing business with 180 acres of ponds. Then in 2020, Duplantis while still working with her father started her own sugarcane farm. She is a proud sixth generation sugarcane farmer.

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Stacy Blomquist

Raised in Pineville on a small farm, Stacy was very involved in 4-H which contributed to her future in agriculture. She attended graduate school at Texas A&M studying insects and began her career with the USDA Forest Service as a forest entomologist in California. She married a wheat farmer from Kansas, moved to Las Vegas, and worked on the Nevada Test Site. She returned to her roots in 2001 with her family, working once again for the Forest Service. In 2016, Stacy made a career change and became the Public Affairs Specialist for the Kisatchie National Forest, sharing the Forest Service’s mission with the public she serves.

Stacy is most proud of her greatest achievements, her three children. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, attending church, and beekeeping. She currently serves as the secretary for the state beekeeping association, secretary for the local bee club, and the interim state coordinator for the environmental education program, Project Learning Tree, using forests as windows to the world for children.

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Tommy Marsh

Tommy Marsh began his career with First South Farm Credit in 2013 as a Commercial Agricultural Loan Officer. In 2022, he was promoted to AVP/Branch Manager of the Thibodaux Office where he enjoys working with sugarcane growers, millers, cattlemen, and land owners throughout Southeast Louisiana. Tommy has spent many years in the Financial/Banking Industry since graduating from Nicholls State University with a B.S. in Business Administration in 2004. He presently resides in Houma with his wife, Jackie, and has two children, McCartney and McCain. Tommy enjoys traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his family.

6/7/2023 8:05:20 PM
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