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NEWS

Agricultural Workforce Development Program Bill  

October 7, 2020

Baton Rouge, La. (October 7, 2020) – As an incentive to help train those pursuing opportunities in Louisiana agriculture, a bill has been filed by Rep. Jack McFarland – District 13 (R) and Sen. Stewart Cathey – District 33 (R).

“The goal is to help fund an internship or training program for participating agricultural businesses,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M. “This will allow students more opportunities in agriculture which is a major industry and employer in the state.”

According to House Bill No. 69 (HB69), to be eligible to participate in the Agricultural Workforce Development Program, an individual must be a current student at a Louisiana secondary or post-secondary institution, or a beginning farmer or rancher employed by an agricultural business pursuant to the program.

The proposed legislation is modeled after programs in Colorado and New Mexico where financial incentives are provided to agricultural businesses to provide hands-on training. Qualified businesses may be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the cost of hiring an intern. The funding is subject to appropriations by the legislature or receipt of other monies.

Read HB69 here: https://legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1190027

The economic impact of the agriculture and forestry industries is valued at approximately $11.7 billion in the state of Louisiana.

The 2020 Second Extraordinary Session adjourns on October 27, 2020.