Louisiana Master Farmer Program participants can attend any of a series of field days throughout Louisiana this year to meet one of three requirements to be certified.

Certification as a Master Farmer requires attending an eight-hour environmental class, attending a program field day where conservation-related topics are discussed, and developing and implementing a comprehensive conservation plan on a farm, according to program administrators.

As of January, 115 agricultural producers throughout the state have become certified, and more than 2,600 producers have participated in the program, said Donna Morgan, an LSU AgCenter agent who works with the program.

“In nine years, the Master Farmer program has grown and developed into one of the most widely known and successful environmental stewardship programs in the southern states,” said Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director for Extension. “Louisiana is the first and only state to offer this type of voluntary producer certification program, and the support is evident in the growing number of producers enrolled in it.”

Several agencies and organizations have joined with the Master Farmer Program, including the Louisiana Farm Bureau, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Upcoming events that would fulfill the field day requirement include:

• Row crop field day, June 23, at the Jay Hardwick farm at Newellton.

• RiceTec field day, June 30, at the Michael Hundley farm at Mowata.

• Vermilion Parish rice tour, July 6, at the Lounsberry farm at Lake Arthur.

• Poultry and cattle field day, July 9, at the Angie and Scott Tyler farm near Dubach.

• Cattle and forage field day, July 20, at the Gary Hollier and Elliott Bizette farm near New Roads.

• Dean Lee Research Station field day, August 5 near Alexandria.

• Bio-fuels field day, Aug. 27, at Archibald.

• Forestry and wildlife field day, Sept. 30, near DeRidder.

• Forest and Grassland Council forage tour, Oct. 6, near Clinton.

For more information, contact Donna Morgan at (318) 613-9278, dsmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu; James Hendrix at (318) 276-6710, jhendrix@agcenter.lsu.edu; or Ernest Girouard at (337) 852-3986, egirouard@agcenter.lsu.edu. To learn more about the Master Farmer Program, visit the Web site http://www.lsuagcenter.com/masterfarmer.