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Commissioner Strain recounts first 100 days
May 1, 2008
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., celebrated his first 100 days in office recently at a breakfast and coffee meeting with staff and other well-wishers.
The gathering was held in the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
Strain said the refurbishing of the auditorium and public nature of the breakfast meeting is symbolic of his overall vision for the LDAF.
“We are conducting all our public hearings and commission meetings in this room,” Strain said. “Everything about this administration will be above board, open to the public and transparent.”
Strain said his first weeks in office were hectic.
“I hit the road running and haven’t stopped since,” Strain said. “I’ve traveled the state making speeches and LDAF presentations to 68 organizations in 100 days.
“I’ve told the farmers, foresters, parish farm bureaus, consumer groups, everyone I possibly can, how much agriculture and forestry touches almost every aspect of their lives.”
Strain said he created an environment of reform within the LDAF and is proud of the workforce and their dedication.
“It’s important for the citizens of Louisiana to know that their LDAF employees are here to serve the needs of the public,” he said.
One of the immediate changes Strain instituted was the halt of all building construction using LDAF office staff and others not trained for industrial work.
“Remember, we are going to be as transparent as possible,” Strain said. “We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure each employee is doing the job he or she is trained to do.”
Strain said other noteworthy achievements of his administration’s first 100 days include:
– required statutory oaths of office for all appointed positions
– revised purchasing procedures
– reduced fleet inventory and fuel costs
– implemented employee training and development programs
– revised personnel and substance abuse policies
– launched an information-packed Web site.
Strain reiterated his pledge to keep Louisiana agriculture and forestry strong.
“I came into this job knowing I was facing the challenge of balancing the department’s budget, but the staff and I are rolling up our sleeves to get the job done,” he said.