MONROE, La. – The LSU AgCenter is hosting a Jan. 20 meeting for those interested in its Master Farmer or Master Cattle Producer programs.

The meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Ag Expo in Monroe, is designed to help farmers and cattle producers satisfy the eight hours of classroom educational requirements for the first phase of the programs.

It will be held from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Louisiana Room at the Monroe Civic Center Convention Hall.

The Master Farmer and Master Cattle Producer programs are designed to teach producers about environmental stewardship and production efficiency. They involve a variety of educational sessions, demonstrations and other activities focused on such issues as water quality, conservation practices and resource management.

Keith Collins of the LSU AgCenter’s Richland Parish office said the Monroe meeting is designed to help producers with the educational sessions required to complete the first phase of the programs.

It will cover such issues as best management practices, conservation programs, watersheds, scenic rivers, hypoxia and other coastal issues, as well as information about the state Department of Environmental Quality, the state Department of Natural Resources and Louisiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Featured speakers for the program will be Fred Sanders and Donna Morgan of the LSU AgCenter and representatives of a variety of other agencies.

For additional information or to register for the Monroe session, which will include a sponsored lunch, call Collins at (318) 728-3216.

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program is targeted at helping agricultural producers voluntarily address the environmental concerns related to production agriculture, as well as enhancing their production and resource management skills that will be critical for the continued viability of Louisiana agriculture. This program involves producers becoming more knowledgeable about environmental stewardship, resource-based production and resource management through a voluntary producer certification process.

The first phase involves eight hours of basic classroom instruction, such as that being offered in Monroe. Participants must complete that phase before moving into more specialized phases of the program that must be completed prior to certification as Master Farmer or Master Cattle Producer.

The Master Cattle Producer Program is designed as a follow-up to the Master Farmer Program. It is a commodity-specific program to enhance the profitability of beef producers by equipping them with important information on all aspects of beef production.

For more information on the LSU AgCenter’s Master Farmer Program or the Master Cattle Producer Program, go to www.lsuagcenter.com/masterfarmer.

Denise Coolman is a writer for the LSU AgCenter.

e-mail: dcoolman@agcenter.lsu.edu