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Commissioner lauds delegation

September 19, 2008

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the combined efforts of LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson and Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson were extremely valuable on his recent trip to Washington to help secure hurricane disaster relief funding for Louisiana.
“Dr. Richardson and Mr. Anderson are integral parts of our statewide lobbying effort to secure funding to pay for hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” Strain said. “Their expertise is helping us with the critical information we need to make our case.”
Strain said Louisiana State Senator Francis Thompson and Representative Andy Anders, the agriculture committee heads of Louisiana’s state legislature, were vital to the lobbying effort Strain and Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu made to the Louisiana congressional delegation earlier this week.
In addition, Representative Mack “Bodi” White, house chair of the Homeland Security Committee and Representative Sam Little of agriculture-heavy District 14 provided added capability to the lobbying effort.
            “We met with a variety of Congressional leaders and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer,” Strain said. “The knowledge Senator Thompson and Representatives Anders, White and Little possess on Louisiana agriculture and homeland security is comprehensive.”
            Strain and Landrieu flew to Washington on Tuesday and returned Wednesday night, September 17, after two days of meetings with federal leaders.
            Strain was scheduled to meet with the Louisiana congressional delegation on agricultural issues as soon as the danger of Gustav and Ike had passed, but Governor Bobby Jindal intervened and tasked both Strain and Landrieu to lobby Congress on behalf of the entire state.
Both Strain and Landrieu are cautiously optimistic that Congress will include Louisiana’s hurricane recovery needs when they vote next week on a continuing resolution to keep the government running through either November or January.
            “At the same time, the entire delegation was representing all of Louisiana, not just agricultural needs,” Strain said. “I, Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu and the rest of the delegation are speaking with one voice for Louisiana.”