Agricultural & Forestry Leaders meet with Congressman Fleming in Beauregard Parish

February 23, 2012

A group of agricultural and forestry leaders met with Congressman John Fleming at the War Memorial Civic Center in Beauregard Parish to discuss issues involving the production of local food and forest products. Rather than speaking, Congressman Fleming wanted to hear from local Beauregard producers about the challenges they are facing.

Attendees included:

Thomas Avant, Gulf Coast Blueberries; AgCenter advisor

Clyde Gehron, Beauregard Farm Bureau, Board Member

David Smith, Beauregard Farm Bureau, President; Farmer, Leonard Smith Farms

George & Merlyn Giltner, Beauregard Forestry Association, past officers; Master Gardeners

David Vidrine, USDA Farm Service Agency, County Director; AgCenter advisor

Dick Myers, Louisiana Forestry Association , President; Boise Paper, Governmental Affairs

Chuck Melsheimer, Beauregard Cattlemen’s Association, President; Melsheimer Farms; AgCenter advisor

Topics included the high cost of fertilizers, child labor, minimum wage, bioenergy, the Farm Bill, the national debt, trade with China, and environmental regulations. The discussions were informal as these leaders sat around a table to exchange concerns and thoughts.  Congressman Fleming, when asked, commented about the composition of the House and Senate after the upcoming elections, and he said that  he expected the next Congress will be friendlier to businesses.

Fleming affirmed the hard work and character of these citizens and thanked them for this discussion.

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