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Louisiana Agriculture ; 65:2, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2044964


This article presents an overview of the growth of the Louisiana nursery industry and the labour challenges the industry is facing. Labour issues in the nursery industry are not easily solved, considering the nature and seasonality of employment and competition from other industries. Despite the benefits associated with the H-2A guest worker program, particularly securing seasonal workers in times of need, which allows nurseries to cope with labour shortages, few Louisiana nurseries rely on the H-2A program. Moreover, prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic also raises concerns on ways the industry needs may change and how it will affect securing labour.

Journal of Food Distribution Research ; 53(1):7-8, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1904585


Various extension programs across the country offer educational and practical opportunities for new and beginning farmers. In recent years, Louisiana has experienced a boom in horticultural farm businesses managed by new and beginning farmers. Though access to land and credit are often cited as two primary challenges that new and beginning farmers face, access to market channels and business management skills are also key to building sustainable farm businesses. Moreover, strong social networks where new and beginning farmers can freely exchange ideas, network, share resources, and provide trainings are essential to the development of new and beginning farmers. This research focuses primarily on horticulture farmers' perceptions of business management skills and risk management. We used data collected as a part of the evaluation program for the Grow Louisiana Beginning Farmer Training Program (Grow Louisiana), an extension program offered by the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. Grow Louisiana is a partnership of academic, cooperative extension, and nonprofit organizations to train fruit and vegetable farmers with less than 10 years of experience on small to mid-size farms in Louisiana. Focused on the southeastern region of Louisiana, the program emphasizes sustainable agricultural practices and local food systems. The year-long program offers participants training in whole-farm planning and risk management based on the following principles: (i) sustainable agriculture and business practices, (ii) resource optimization, (iii) objective decision making, and (iv) efficient work practices. The program trained 16 farmers per year and apart from educational training, promotes networking and mentoring among farmers across the state. This study used a mixed methods approach to analyze program evaluation data from the 3-year program (2018-2021). The first year the program was offered in person, the second year moved to a hybrid model when measures were taken to address participant safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third year was completed mostly online. Data were collected pre- and postprogram through needs assessments, interviews, and focus groups with participants. Findings add to existing literature and highlight the importance of business and marketing planning in the development and training of new and beginning farmers. Moreover, the study provides useful information for extension practices considering the variety of methods of delivery by year (i.e., in person, hybrid, online).

Journal of Food Distribution Research ; 53(1):1-2, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1904450


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the operations of many farm and food businesses across Louisiana. Producers had to adapt to changes or closures of market outlets, including farmers markets, farm-to-school programs, and restaurants. Using data collected from an online survey, this research examines pre- and post-pandemic marketing channels and challenges faced by food producers.

Hortscience ; 56(9):S172-S172, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1688402