EPA To Hold
Hearing In Crowley On "Waters Of The U.S." Proposed Rule
On March 25th, the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
announced a proposed rule that revises the definition of "Waters
of the United States" (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The agencies emphasize that the proposal seeks to provide regulatory
clarity after significant uncertainty following two Supreme Court
decisions. This proposal is being evaluated by many agricultural
organizations and agriculture producers are being encouraged to
comment on the proposed rule.
The EPA has asked the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and
Forestry (LDAF) and the LSU AgCenter, to provide them with a forum to
discuss this very important proposal. A listening session is
scheduled for July 9th at the LSU AgCenter's Acadia Parish
Extension Office in Crowley. Registration and lunch (provided) will
begin at 11:30 a.m. Bill Richardson, Vice President for
Agriculture says, "Our goal is to allow our federal partners to
have an open and constructive dialogue with the Louisiana agriculture
leadership on how this proposed rule might impact agriculture at the
The public has an opportunity to comment until October 20, 2014 on
the proposal. Ron Curry, administrator of EPA's Region office says,
"We are very interested in hearing the producers' perspective on
this very important rule. It is our job to listen and encourage
producers to comment as to how the proposed rule may affect
According to the EPA, the proposed rule preserves existing CWA
exemptions and exclusions for agricultural activities. Additionally,
the agencies, in coordination with USDA's Natural Resource
Conservation Service, will now exempt 56 established NRCS
conservation practices from the CWA Section 404 dredged or fill
permitting requirements, if they occur in waters covered by the CWA.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M, says,
"This is a way for Louisiana agriculture producers to play a
role in national policy decisions. I strongly encourage producers to
If interested in participating, call or email Valerie Dartez with the
LSU AgCenter at 337-788-7531 or by email to email@example.com by4:30
p.m. on July 3, 2014 to RSVP.
For more information, contact Carrie Castille, PhD, with the LDAF at225-922-1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Bureau Wins President's Trophy, Jeff Davis Couple Named Top
For the second year in a row, the Avoyelles Parish
Farm Bureau was awarded the coveted President's Trophy by the
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation at the organization's 92nd annual
meeting in New Orleans last week.
Avoyelles Parish Farm Bureau President Phillip Lemartiniere accepted
the award Thursday, June 26 on behalf of the parish membership from
Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson. The award is the highest
honor bestowed during the farm group's annual meeting and topped a
list of award winners that included the state's top young farmer, top
young farm woman, award of excellence winner, discussion meet winner
and top ag educator. "I'm so proud of everyone in the parish who
worked so hard to promote agriculture," Lemartiniere said.
"It's been a long time coming and all of our parish membership
deserve this trophy." The win was the third time Avoyelles
Parish received the award since the President's Trophy was first
presented in 1969. The parish first received the award in 1972 and
again in 2013. The President's Trophy recognizes outstanding
contributions to Louisiana agriculture by parish volunteer leadership
and farmer and rancher members. Avoyelles was among 61 parish Farm
Bureaus recognized for their efforts in promoting agriculture. The
organization also recognized ag educators, farm journalists and young
farmers from the organization's Young Farmers and Ranchers programs
across the state.
Also recognized during Thursday night's
awards program were John and Brianne Compton, of Jeff Davis Parish.
The couple was named the Farm Bureau's 2014 Young Farmers and
Ranchers Achievement Award winners. The award is presented to farm
couples 35 and younger whose farming operations balance production,
profit and environmental concerns. It's the state's top honor for
young farmers across Louisiana. "We're honored to be recognized
here in New Orleans among all our family and friends," John
Compton said. "We strive to keep our family farm running as
efficiently as possible. Our farm is truly a family farm and I think
we've worked hard to keep the that tradition alive.'' Part of the
Compton's prize package includes a $40,000 cash credit towards the
purchase of a 2014 Chevrolet or General Motors of their choice,
savings bonds and other prizes. As Louisiana's state winner the
couple will compete for the national title in January in San Diego
during the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau.
Also at the awards program the Farm Bureau named Katie Ramagos of
Iberville Parish, its Outstanding Young Farm Woman for 2014.
"My involvement in Farm Bureau is part of my life," Ramagos
said. "It gives young farmers a voice and that's very
important to my family and to the survival of the family farm in
Taking home the YF&R Committee's 2014 Excellence in Agriculture
Award was Matthew and Stephanie Gravois of St. James Parish. The
award honors outstanding contributions to agriculture by
professionals in the industry who are not primarily engaged in
Also at Thursday's awards
program, the St. Martin Parish Women's Leadership Committee was
awarded the 2014 WLC Award of Excellence. Parish WLC Chair Nicole
Latiolais accepted the award for her parish. The award recognizes the
critical role farmwomen play in volunteer activities and rural life.
Also repeating a win this year, this time for the 2014 Young Farmers
and Ranchers Award of Merit, was the Tangipahoa Parish Young Farmers
and Ranchers Committee for their work in promoting agriculture to
young producers. Amelia Levin Kent accepted the award on behalf of
Tangipahoa. The award was presented by Melissa Morris, chair of the
state YF&R Committee and Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson.
The Farm Bureau also recognized its Ag in the Classroom Teacher of
the Year for 2014. This year's winner was Catherine Olinde, a fourth
grade teacher at Valverda Elementary in Maringouin, in Pointe Coupee
The Louisiana Farm Bureau is the state's largest general farm
organization. Founded in 1922, the Farm Bureau provides legislative,
commodity, public relations and marketing resources to the state's
farmers and ranchers.
LFBARN affiliate KMAR, Winnsboro, was named
"Radio Station of the Year" during the Farm Bureau
Convention. KMAR General Manager Rene Johnson accepted the award
with yours truly, Franklin Parish Farm Bureau President Adam Faulk
and LA Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson.
Dr. Craig Gautreaux, Communications Specialist and
Video Producer for the LSU AgCenter, received the Regnal Wallace Ag
Communicator of the Year Award for 2014.
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