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Ag commissioner slated for Ag Expo

Newly elected Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain will present his views and visions on Louisiana forestry at the Ag Expo Forest Landowner Forum, Jan. 19 in West Monroe, La.

Sponsored by the LSU AgCenter, North Louisiana Agri-Business Council, Louisiana Forestry Association, Louisiana Land Bank and the Northeast Louisiana Forest Landowners Association, the event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in West Monroe. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m.

In addition to Strain, the agenda will include presentations on national and state forestland trends and forest resource use opportunities for landowners.

The program will include a presentation on national forestland trends by William Hubbard, a Southern regional Extension forester from Athens, Ga.; family ownership of Louisiana timberlands by Sam Crawford, president of The Crawford Forestry Group Inc., Shreveport; and carbon credit opportunities for forest landowners by Eric Taylor, Extension forestry specialist with Texas A&M University, Overton, Texas.

Michael Blazier with the LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm Research Station in Homer will discuss fuel from trees, and Cheng Piao with the LSU AgCenter’s Calhoun Research Station will present information on value-added structural products from small-diameter trees.

The fee for the forum is $10, but two generations of forest landowners attending together may register for a single fee.

Checks should be made payable to the NELA Forest Landowner Association and mailed by Jan. 11 to Steven Hotard, LSU AgCenter Calhoun Research Station, 321 Highway 80 East, Calhoun, La. 71225.

Walk-up registration will be accepted on the day of the forum.

Registration includes admission to Ag Expo at the adjacent Ike Hamilton Expo Center. That event concludes at 4 p.m. on Jan. 19.

Ag Expo promotes the agribusiness industry and educates the public on the importance of agriculture. As part of the expo, the LSU AgCenter coordinates its Ag Alley, filled with information about different commodities grown in Louisiana. Sweet potatoes, horticulture, cotton and equine exhibits will be featured in 2008.

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