|The Southern University Ag Center hosted the 9th Annual Louisiana Small Farmers Conference at the Felton G. Clark Activity Center March 14-16, 2019. Nearly 200 small farmers attended the conference.|
Baton Rouge, La. – Grant Writing, Backyard Birds for the 21st Century, Value Added Products, Small Ruminant Reproduction, and Ag Technology…There’s an App for That: Staying Connected were among the topics covered during the 9th Annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference.
One hundred and seventy-three small farmers from throughout Louisiana attended the three-day conference themed, “Unlocking Your Potential.” The event was held March 14-16, at the Felton G. Clark Activity Center on Southern University’s campus.
The first day of the conference provided small farmers with information on grant opportunities available to them through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, as well as information on the Southern University Ag Center’s four certification courses.
The second day of the conference began with an address from Louisiana’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. The conference’s keynote address was delivered by Randolph Joseph, Jr., the Assistant State Conservationists for the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The day’s session included Aquaponics and Vertical Gardening, Raised Beds and Conventional Soil Amendments, Sustainability: Self-Sufficient Farming Practices, and Soil Health for Better Crops and Livestock. There was also a USDA Round Table Discussion which provided small farmers an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the programs available through the USDA.
The Louisiana Living Legends Banquet was held on the evening of March 15 following the conference’s sessions. This banquet honors individuals who have made significant contributions to Southern University in the areas of teaching, research, and extension.
The 2019 honorees were Dr. Gary C. Simon, Southern University Veterinarian and Professor of Animal Science (Teaching); Dr. Calvin Reuben Walker, Interim Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the College of Agricultural, Family, and Consumer Sciences (Research); and Terrence S. Marshall, retired County Agent for the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Extension).
The three join 27 others who have been honored with this recognition since 2005.
Alisa Welsh, Principal of Madison Preparatory Academy, served as the speaker for the banquet.
The conference concluded with a Pasture Walk at Redwood Creek Cattle Farm in Ethel, La. During the walk, participants learned about electric fencing with a combination of barb wire, pasture management, cattle handling, cattle health and vaccination, record keeping, and toured the farmer’s calf daycare.
Photos from the conference are available here.