Thirteen youth from around the state have been selected for the LSU AgCenter’s 2012-2013 Louisiana Young Ag Producers Program.

The one-year program introduces high school junior and senior students to the options available to them in the areas of food and fiber production and encourages them to enter careers in agriculture.

"We are excited about the quality of this new class,” said program director Bobby Soileau. “They represent diverse agricultural interests from many areas of the state."

The group has a wide range of production interests, including beef cattle, crawfish, goats, hay, rice, sugarcane and fruit crops. The program will begin this summer on the LSU Baton Rouge campus.

"These students represent Louisiana's future ranchers and farmers who will help keep Louisiana's rural economy strong,” said Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor. “In addition, this helps satisfy the ever-expanding food demand resulting from a growing world population."

Along with the LSU AgCenter, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry serve as major sponsors.

Program participants are: Zack Billings (Washington Parish), Cody Effler (Tangipahoa Parish), Thomas Forbes (Pointe Coupee Parish), Cole Frey (Pointe Coupee Parish), Lucas Glaser (Pointe Coupee Parish), Seth Guillory (Vermilion Parish), George LaCour III (Pointe Coupee Parish), Andre’ Lanie (Vermilion Parish), Jamal Livingston (Lafayette Parish), Mason Matirne (St. James Parish), Brandon Parrie (Sabine Parish), Melissa Pierce (AllenParish) and Emily Schenk (Livingston Parish).