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Louisiana Celebrates Ag Day

March 7, 2008

Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M., welcomed several hundred people to Louisiana Ag Day at a ceremony held today in Baton Rouge.

“Agriculture and Forestry are the foundation of our economy, our culture and our heritage. Without these, we cannot survive. I hope at dinner tonight, everyone – not just the row crop farmer or the dairyman or the poultry producer – will remember where their food comes from and thank the farmers who put it on their plate,” Strain said.

Reinforcing the importance of agriculture and forestry in the state, Strain added, “Agriculture and forestry in Louisiana are big business, contributing about $20 billion to the state’s economy. With the synergy of agriculture and energy, and technological advancements in the way we produce our food, this impact can and will grow to $30 billion, even $40 billion.”

Addressing guests at the event were Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson, LSU AgCenter Chancellor Dr. William Richardson, Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association President Danny Cole and Louisiana Meat Processors Association President Bobby Yarborough.

“Positive things, good things are happening in Louisiana agriculture. Working together with these industry groups and our research institutions, the possibilities are endless,” Strain said.

He also introduced and presented prizes to winners of the state’s Arbor Day poster contest. They are: Devin LeBoeuf, Thibodaux, first place; and Savannah Davis, DeRidder, second place.

Recognized later during the festivities were Farmer of the Year finalists Richard Fontenot of Ville Platte and Eric Morrow of Ponchatoula. Finalist Tommy Laborde of Hamburg could not attend but was represented by his wife Ann. The winner of Farmer of the Year will be announced tonight during a banquet hosted by Louisiana Network.

“This is a day to celebrate the hard work and determination of a very committed group of people, like those selected as finalists for Farmer of the Year. Again, it is my hope that the rest of the state will take a minute today or in coming days to thank a farmer,” Strain said.