NEW ORLEANS –– Ronnie Anderson, a beef cattle producer and forage grower from Ethel, La., has been re-elected president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.
Anderson, 67, begins his 27th term as president of the state’s largest general farm organization. His re-election took place Sunday, June 28 during the Farm Bureau’s 93rd annual meeting.
“The big talk at the convention this year was all the rain and the low commodity prices,” Anderson said. “Our cotton and rice farmers in the state are really on the ropes right now and it’s more important than ever to participate in Farm Bureau to help us fight for agriculture’s future.”
Nearly 2,000 farmers from across the state gathered in the Crescent City for the largest statewide ag meeting, which saw a gubernatorial forum with each of the four announced candidates.
“Our farmers got a chance to hear from each candidate what their position on agriculture is,” Anderson said. “The fact that they got to hear them and that they took time out of their schedules to be with us is a major win for ag in and of itself.
Linda Zaunbrecher, who had served as third vice-president for more than 25 years and on the board as a whole for 32 years, stepped down at the convention. Zaunbrecher was honored numerous times over the convention. Her husband and rice farmer, Wayne, passed away just two weeks earlier after a brief illness and was honored at a memorial service Sunday morning.
“It’s just not going to be the same without Linda and Wayne around,” Anderson said. “Linda was a pioneer. She was constantly there to provide a voice not only for rice farmers, but for all of Louisiana agriculture, including the farm women who are our partners and friends. I know Linda will stay active as a voice for Farm Bureau, but we will miss her on the board.”
Richard Fontenot, a rice and grain farmer from Evangeline Parish, was elected as third vice-president. The Farm Bureau board of directors is made up of a five-member executive committee and an 11-member board of directors. The Farm Bureau also re-elected three current members of its executive committee. Each member is a production farmer, actively engaged in agriculture.
Those re-elected Sunday to the Farm Bureau’s executive committee were Jim Harper, first vice president, Scott Wiggers, second vice president and Mike Melancon, as secretary-treasurer.
Members of the Farm Bureau’s 11-member board of directors serve in two-year terms. Odd-numbered districts are elected in odd-numbered years. Marty Wooldridge, of Caddo Parish, will represent farmers in District 1 in the northwest portion of the state. Serving farmers in District 2 will be Butch Oaks, a poultry producer from Ouachita Parish. District 3 will be represented by grain producer Robert Warren from Madison Parish.
Bill Cheek, from Natchitoches Parish, will represent farmers in District 4, in Central Louisiana. Serving District 5, in south central Louisiana, will be Russell Bailes from Vernon Parish, who replaces Richard Fontenot, of Ville Platte in Evangeline Parish. In District 6, farmers will be represented by Kenny Self, a sugar producer from Pointe Coupee Parish. James Cox from Cameron Parish, will represent farmers in District 7, in southwest Louisiana.
Errol Domingues, president of the Vermilion Parish Farm Bureau, will represent District 8. District 9 will be represented by Fred Bass from St. Tammany Parish. District 10 will be represented by Greg Gravois of St. James Parish, while District 11 will be represented by Ralph Babin from Lafourche Parish Parish.
Amelia Kent, a beef cattle producer from Tangipahoa Parish, was elected chair of the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. Denise Cannatella, a grain producer from Melville, in St. Landry Parish, was re-elected chairman of the Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The YF&R chairman and the Women’s Committee chair serve as ex-officio members of the Farm Bureau board of directors.
The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation wrapped up its convention June 28. The Farm Bureau is a non-profit, private volunteer membership organization of Louisiana farmers and ranchers.