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Training new farmers

The LSU AgCenter is holding a free training course for about 20 producers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

An American university is helping ensure new and beginning farmers have the tools and training they need to pursue a career in agriculture.

Louisiana State University’s (LSU) AgCenter is taking applications for a free 16-week training course called Grow Louisiana for about 20 new and beginning farmers.

The course, scheduled to begin Oct. 1, will be split into two eight-week windows of in-person instruction every Thursday evening on the LSU campus for three hours. The first eight weeks will take place in the fall and the remaining sessions will run in the spring.

The program will also include field days and other course-related activities.

Participants will learn about multiple aspects of farm business management.

“Grow Louisiana provides whole-farm planning, horticulture and business training, resources, support and mentoring with the overall goal of increasing the success of agricultural communities by building a statewide network of farmers and providing business tools and educational resources to new and beginning farmers,” Marcus Coleman, the program director, said in a July 2 statement.

A new or beginning farmer is described as someone who has 10 or fewer years of farming experience.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census of Agriculture found there were 674,940 principal beginning farmers and 908,274 new farmers across the country.

Louisiana had a total of 13,097 new and beginning farmers, the census showed.

Farmers interested in participating in Grow Louisiana must apply by Aug. 26. Accepted applicants will be notified by Sept. 15.

Farms.com has reached out to Coleman and the Louisiana Farm Bureau for comment.

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