State Coordinator, Louisiana Master Farmer Program
R. Ernest Girouard, Jr. is the State Coordinator for the Louisiana Master Famer Program (LMFP) and an employee of the LSU AgCenter. The LMFP program is a formal partnership among the LSU AgCenter, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Farm Bureau and the Louisiana Cattleman’s Association. The program is a comprehensive educational process that assists agricultural producers in addressing environmental concerns and enhancing natural resource management skills for the continued sustainability of Louisiana agriculture. It includes classroom instruction, observation of LSU AgCenter research-based best management practices (BMP’s) and implementation of an on-farm conservation plan. The LMFP has been named the Conservation Educator of the Year for 2014 by the Annual Governor’s Conservation Recognition Program conducted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation.
Ernest has been active promoting conservation at the local Soil and Water Conservation District, Louisiana and National Association of Conservation Districts, the Louisiana Soil and Water Conservation Commission and LDAF State Nutrient Management Strategy Committee. His awards include: USA Rice Federation Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award; Guy Caire Memorial Award (State Conservation); Certified Louisiana Master Farmer; LSU Agriculture Alumni Association-Outstanding Alumni; LACD-Outstanding State District Supervisor; Rice Farming Magazine-LA Rice Farmer of the Year; International Rice Festival-Rice Farmer of the Year; Woodmen of the World-Conservation Award; and the LCAAA and NACAA Extension Achievement Awards. He earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1967.