|Malva Jones, left, and Diane Kimble of Kimble Farms|
Baton Rouge, LA – The Louisiana Small farm conference took off yesterday with inspirational farm tours from the SU Ag Center across multiple parishes. The event gained momentum today with opening session presided over by Gina E. Eubanks, Vice Chancellor for Extension. Also bringing greetings to participants were Leodrey Williams, Chancellor; Adell Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research; and Rene P. Simon, Director, LA Agricultural Finance Authority, Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture. Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin, Extension Specialist and conference organizer, received the more than 50 small farmers from Louisiana and beyond with utmost enthusiasm. Dr. Owusu Bandele, Professor Emeritus, horticulture, emphasized the theme of the conference, “Building Capacity of Louisiana’s Small Family Farm” during the opening session.
Other presenters at the conference include officials from USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Oklahoma Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Cleopatra Foods, LLC, Southern University Law Center and Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center.
When asked what this conference means to them, two sisters who travelled from Colfax to learn and network in Baton Rouge responded that “… it teaches them ways to sustain their family farm for future generations.”
“I like to work the land,” said Diana Kimble who runs Kimble Farms. “I like to cook,” said the sister, Malva Jones. They grow different kinds of healthy herbs and vegetables, such as hibiscus, strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes among other things.
"We are doing what we love and making money doing it."“Thanks to the Southern University Ag Center,” they both chimed in.
The conference culminates tomorrow with a tour of the Red Stick Farmers’ Market in downtown Baton Rouge.For more information, contact Dr. Dawn Mellion-Patin at 225-771-3532.
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