Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is now accepting applications for the Louisiana Agricultural Workforce Development Program, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said. The new program provides businesses a monetary incentive to establish intern programs to train students for careers in the agriculture and forestry fields.
“This program benefits our agriculture and forestry businesses that are struggling to find qualified individuals and provides quality, real-life training opportunities to our young people pursuing careers within the agriculture and forestry sectors,” Strain said. “These young people are the future of Louisiana agriculture and forestry. When we invest in them, we invest in Louisiana’s economy.”
Qualified agricultural businesses may be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the cost to hire an intern. A maximum of $5,000 per internship is allowed.
The LDAF’s Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority will administer the Louisiana Agricultural Workforce Development Program. The program was created by Act 23 of the Second Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature.
A Qualified agricultural business includes agricultural producers, or a person or legal entity who engages in agriculture or provides support activities, products, or services to an agricultural producer and such products or services that are directly related to the planting, growing, production, harvesting, or processing of Louisiana products.
Businesses may submit applications by mail through September 1, 2021, or until available funding is exhausted. Once approved, the applicant will be required to submit an intern application to be completed by the intern or beginning farmer. Students currently enrolled at a Louisiana secondary or postsecondary institution or a young and beginning farmer or rancher employed by an agricultural business are eligible to participate in the program.
For more information on the program, contact Melanie Tullier or Stephanie Harts-Bureau at 225-922-1277. For program application and guidelines, go to www.ldaf.state.la.us and click on Louisiana Agriculture Workforce Program link.