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.
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.