Agriculture is the largest sector of Louisiana's economy. Agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture use more than 85 percent of the surface area of the state, and with more than 243,000 jobs, employs nearly 10 percent of our work force. At more than $30 billion, agriculture and forestry combined make up one of Louisiana's largest and most economically dependent industries.
Nationally, our state ranks second in the production of aquaculture and sugarcane, third in rice production and milling, fourth in sweet potatoes, and sixth in grain sorghum.
According to the LSU AgCenter's 2010 Ag Summary, Louisiana agriculture and forestry contributed more than $9.9 billion directly to the state'e economy in 2010, an increase of over 20 percent from the year before. These gains were led by forestry and poultry, which contributed $3.1 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. The state of our Louisiana agricultural economy is showing impressive growth due to the perseverance and strength of our Louisiana farmers, ranchers, foresters and landowners.
We do, however, face significant national challenges. An alarming statistic just released by the United Nations Population Division project that global population could reach 9.3 billion by mid-century, and rise to 10.1 billion by 2100. We must feed, clothe, house and provide energy worldwide to meet this growing demand and this will result in a tremendous economic impact to all of America.
During the 1928 presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee ran a newspaper ad promising that, if elected, Herbert Hoover would "put a chicken in every pot." Considering the average age of the Louisiana farmer is 57 and aging, our goal now is to "put a farmer in every field" and continue to grow our agricultural economy.
I continue to be honored and humbled by the trust you have instilled in me to be your Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. In the beginning of my term, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) initiated its review process beginning with a full analysis of the department's programs, policies, contracts, fees and commissions in an effort to ensure maximum efficiency and eliminate duplication. As a result, we implemented the following major actions:
ANNUAL FUEL USAGE
Before any country can be a great nation it must first be a nation great in agriculture. It is imperative that we have the best department of agriculture and forestry in order to ensure that our food is safe, our fiber production is among the best and our animals are strong and healthy. I am optimistic and results-oriented about the continued progress of our department and remain dedicated to this duty.
We have great opportunities to work together to help our farmers, rural communities, and urban citizens remain productive, profitable, and health through effective policy and leadership. I look forward to serving another term as your Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry and continue my commitment to growing Louisiana agriculture one farmer at a time.
More than $1 billion in new projects in the state will enhance the value-added sector of our economy. These projects include:
Creating jobs in rural Louisiana:
1. Foster Farms in Farmerville and DG Foods in Bastrop - poultry processing
2. ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston in Delhi - sweet potato processing
3. Bruce Foods in New Iberia - plant improvements
4. Myriant Technologies in Lake Providence - biobased succinic acid plant (biofuels)
5. Aquatic Energy in Lake Charles - algae plant (bioenergy)
6. Georgia-Pacific in Port Hudson - advanced paper-making
7. Kennedy Rice Dryers in Mer Rouge - rice export
8. South Louisiana Rail Facility in Laccasine - grain export
9. New Orleans Cold Storage in New Orleans - poultry exports at Port of New Orleans
10. Tyson/Syntroleum in Gramercy - synthetic fuels
11. Monsanto in Luling - plant improvements
12. Louis Dreyfus in Baton Rouge - grain elevator at Port of Greater Baton Rouge
13. Zagis USA in Lacassine - cotton spinning facility
14. Louisiana Sugar Refining LLC in Gramercy - a new sugar refinery, a cooperative endeavor between Cargill, Imperial Sugar Co. and Sugar Growers & Refiners Inc.
15. IFG Port Holdings in Lake Charles - grain elevator at Port of Lake Charles
16. Terrel Grain - unit train facilities in Delhi
17. Tubbs Rice Dryer in Mer Rouge
God Bless and God Bless Louisiana,
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