By:  Emily Shirley, President, Beauregard Master Gardeners

It has been a busy month of March for me.          

I have been working on the newly formed “LSU AgCenter AgCoalition”.  We continue to get the word out about the importance of the LSU AgCenter to the State of Louisiana and its citizens. 

We had a Legislative Reception Monday evening of this week in Baton Rouge.  The event went well where we were able to meet legislators and answer specific questions regarding budget impacts on both agriculture and the AgCenter.  We think highlighting our industry had a positive effect in educating the legislative participants and will be very beneficial for Louisiana agriculture.

We were able to talk with Representative Jim Fannin, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Dr. Jim Purcell, Commissioner of Higher Education, and Dr. John V. Lombardi, LSU System President.  We received positive feedback about the future funding of the LSU AgCenter and their perspective on the importance of agriculture in Louisiana.  We were encouraged by their comments and hope that we will survive to continue our work through the LSU AgCenter. 

  •  For 125 years the AgCenter has provided citizens of this State with research-based information that has helped them establish, and continue with their agriculture type businesses. 
  •  The AgCenter brings agriculture to students in Louisiana through its 4-H Program. The 4-H Program teaches students about agriculture, but it also teaches leadership and other skills students will need to be successful businessmen and women.   
  • The LSU AgCenter is of critical importance to the economic well-being of Louisiana agriculture and all the businesses it touches.  The LSU AgCenter’s Extension Services serves citizens from all walks of life by providing research-based information.
  • The LSU Cooperative Extensive Service personnel and volunteers (such as Master Gardeners) help deliver research-based information to Louisiana citizens. 
  • State and Federal budget cuts threaten many of the programs the AgCenter is known for. 

Editor’s Note: Ms. Emily Shirley is the President of the Beauregard Parish Master Gardeners and publishes the Beauregard Parish Master Gardeners Community Newsletter  from which this Blog is derived for this posting. kh


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