VILLE PLATTE ROTARY CLUB
JULY 22, 2014
The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Richard Fontenot, President of the Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau. Fontenot , a fifth generation farmer in Evangeline Parish, also serves on Farm Bureau’s Mutual Board and is a District Five Board Member representing our area on a national level. Farm Bureau is an organization that is considered the voice of Louisiana agriculture.
Fontenot said the number one crop in Evangeline Parish is rice followed surprisingly by horses. Cattle production is number three followed by forestry at the number four position. Statewide, forestry production is number one. Ten percent of the rice crop in the state is produced here in Evangeline Parish.
He praised State Representative Bernard LeBas for his leadership in helping the rice industry through the check off program.
Fontenot said the new farm bill is not friendly to Louisiana producers because it removes all direct payments and relies more on crop insurance.
His outlook for the crops this year: rice will be good, soybeans average to above average and cattle prices will be surging.
In an answer to a question about a young person wanting to get into agriculture production, he said it would very difficult to get the financing. The high costs for equipment and land is prohibitive for many people. For example, a new combine could be as high as $500,000 and a new tractor could be around $200,000.
Fontenot was the special guest of Rotarian Jeremy Ortego.