Greg Kincaid

Franklin Parish farmer Gregory Kincaid, center, was presented the Outstanding Master Farmer Award on Jan. 9, 2020. Pictured from left are Michael Salassi, associate vice president of the LSU AgCenter; Steve Austin, of the Louisiana Land Bank; Kincaid; Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry; and Chad Kacir, Louisiana state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Franklin Parish farmer Greg Kincaid recently received the LSU AgCenter Outstanding Master Farmer award.

The longtime farmer is a 2012 graduate of the program who was recertified in 2018. Kincaid produces corn, soybeans, hay and cattle on land that has been in his family for more than 100 years.

Additionally, Kincaid has worked with the AgCenter, NRCS and Northeast Soil and Water Conservation District to try new strategies to reduce soil compaction and erosion, irrigate more efficiently and improve water quality.

“This land is the anchor that has kept my family in Louisiana all these years,” Kincaid said in a nomination application for the award. “We make a living and stay in business. A lot of families haven’t been able to do that, and I feel like I’m carrying the torch. The land is still productive after all these years and hopefully it will continue.”

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program helps agricultural producers voluntarily address the environmental concerns related to production agriculture, as well as enhance their production and resource management skills that will be critical for the continued viability of Louisiana agriculture.

Participants must attend classes on environmental stewardship and develop plans for implementing conservation practices on their farms. Sessions are taught by experts from the AgCenter, the Louisiana Farm Bureau, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“Conservation is very important to the sustainability of agriculture throughout the world,” said Ronnie Levy, Master Farmer Program coordinator. “The Louisiana Master Farmer Program is leading the nation in helping farms continue to thrive while preserving soil health, water quality and other facets of the environment for future generations.”

Meanwhile, six people were recognized Jan. 9 during the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts for completing environmental stewardship training.

They joined more than 200 others who have earned the Master Farmer designation since the program, which was launched in 2001.

The latest graduates of the program are Kirk J. Garber, of Rapides Parish; Daniel Hebert, of St. Martin Parish; Glenn Simon, Lucas Simon and Wesley Simon, all of Acadia Parish; and Sonja Vice, of Bossier Parish.

Four previous graduates who logged continuing education hours to renew their certifications also were honored. They are James “Buff” Fontenot, of St. Landry Parish; Patrick N. Hebert and Christian J. Richard, both of Vermilion Parish; and Mike Strain, of St. Tammany Parish.

Strain is the commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.


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