Officials with the LSU AgCenter and the
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and
Forestry met on April 18 with representatives
of the Kellogg Co. to work on
details for a Master Rice Grower program that will
encourage sustainable farming practices.
“We are confident that this will be a positive program
for farmers who grow rice for Kellogg,” says
Steve Linscombe, director of the Rice Research Station.
“Many farmers are already doing what will be
included in the program.”
The Master Rice Grower program is expected to be
finalized in the coming weeks, and it could be ready
to present to farmers in June.
A component of the Master Rice Grower program
will include the Louisiana Master Farmer program
that aims to help farmers adopt soil and water
Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for
Extension, said changes to the Louisiana Master
Farmer program will improve the process to become
certified as a Master Farmer. The LSU AgCenter is working with
LDAF and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to enable
more farmers to achieve the final levels of the Master Farmer program
“Many farmers have completed two of the three phases of the
program, but they have not advanced further,” Coreil says. “We are
close to finalizing improvements to the program that will help more
farmers become certified and meet Louisiana Master Farmer and
Kellogg sustainability requirements.”
Dr. Mike Strain, LDAF commissioner, said the improvements to the program will enhance the rice industry’s environmental profile.
“I am excited to partner with Kellogg, the LSU AgCenter and
other groups to ensure the quality and sustainability of Louisiana
rice as we create an option to enhance the capacity for Louisiana
Master Farmer certification,” Strain says. “I have confidence that
the LSU AgCenter’s commitment to the Master Farmer Program
will lead to increased development and implementation of on-farm
conservation plans to address Louisiana’s soil and water conservation
standards and sustainability goals.”
Bill Dore of Louisiana Rice Mill said the program will strengthen
the relationship between the Louisiana rice industry and Kellogg.
“They are the most important rice buyer in Louisiana,” Dore says.
One of the key aspects of the Master Rice Grower program is
recognition of the contribution that rice farming makes to waterfowl
habitat. Officials from Ducks Unlimited attended the meeting to
voice their support.
Jerry Holden with Ducks Unlimited said maintaining habitat for
waterfowl is critical. “It’s one of DU’s five highest priorities on the
continent,” he says. “Rice is really good for ducks.”
Contact Schultz at (337) 788-8821 or email@example.com.