Mike Strain

Morehouse Parish Arson Suspect Arrested

Aug 14, 2018
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State agriculture commissioner Mike Strain announces the arrest of a suspected serial arsonist in Morehouse Parish. Strain alleges between July 20th and August 3rd, 55-year-old Philbert Bowers of Bastrop intentionally set several wildlife fires near the Arkansas state line.  The fires burned nearly 28 acres and fire officials suspect they were set on July 22. 

Strain says Bowers was arrested on 4 counts of arson by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and  3 counts of arson by the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office. 

 

 

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A woman is under arrest for allegedly stealing a horse, and selling it for 1,000 dollars cash on the internet. 27-year-old Sarah Broussard of Scott was booked into the Lafayette Parish Jail on the charge of Theft of Property valued over 500 dollars. Ag Commisioner Mike Strain says the purchaser had no clue the horse was stolen.

 

The horse was being housed in Lafayette Parish, while its owner lived elsewhere. Strain says the owner had no clue the horse had been swiped.

 

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The state Department of Agriculture and Forestry is teaming up with the LSU AgCenter to fight citrus canker disease.  The disease is spread by wind driven rain, causing lesions on the leaves and fruit.  It was first found in the state in 2013 at City Park in New Orleans.  State Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says there is no cure right now, but hopes their research will produce results to slow the disease.

 

Strain hopes that a sample will be found that is "resistant to the disease." 

 

Keeping Safe On Winter Roads

Dec 8, 2017
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One of the main concerns when we start to see wintry weather like this for the first time of the season is the roadways. Department of Transportation spokesman Rodney Mallett says even today as the bottom half of the state is dealing with constant rain, they keep seeing a trend of rear end crashes and side-swiping because people aren’t paying attention.

 

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Governor Edwards and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain continue their listening tour with farmers today with stops in Ferriday and Slaughter. The tour started earlier this week as the two elected officials held meetings in Mooringsport and Bastrop to hear about concerns within the agriculture industry. Edwards says producers are worried that state budget cuts are impacting agriculture research at LSU and Southern.

 

Edwards says soybean farmers are also pushing for funding so the Red River can be dredged in northwest Louisiana to help with shipping costs.

Governor Edwards and Louisiana Ag Commissioner Mike Strain will start a listening tour across several rural communities today.  The tour will allow members of the agricultural community an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss their concerns.  Strain says they want to know the challenges farmers face.

 

Strain says it’s important he and Governor Edwards get in front of the farmers throughout the Bayou State and address their concerns since they are a large part of our economy.

 

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With the decline in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, any hope of exporting Louisiana goods is shrinking. State Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain says working on the issues between the two nations is of top priority.

A year ago, Governor John Bel Edwards and Strain led a delegation from Louisiana to Cuba to strengthen the relationship between the Bayou State and the island nation. Strain says its disappointing to see the U.S. order Cuban diplomats out of their embassy. 

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5th District Congressman Ralph Abraham will hold a listening session on Friday morning at Rayville High School to receive input from farmers and ag leaders on what they want included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Abraham wants to know what is working and what could be improved.

The Farm Bill is the primary legislation that sets the agriculture and food policy for the country. Abraham says cotton was left out of the mix in this current Farm Bill and that industry has suffered major hits because of it.

The floods that inundated Louisiana in August also damaged rice harvested as seed for this year's planting. 

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says he's temporarily relaxed certification requirements to ensure farmers can buy enough for a chance at a good crop. 

Department seed programs director Lester Cannon says farmers will have to buy more of some lots to make up for the problem, but sellers will drop the price to make up for it. 

Emerald Harris / ULM

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s annual spring Commencement Ceremony was held today in Fant-Ewing Coliseum in front of adoring family and friends, and ULM faculty, staff, and administration. Over 730 students earned degrees.

Dr. Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.

Strain’s ultimate message was for students to pursue their dreams, get involved, and appreciate those who helped them along the way.