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     Evangeline Parish Farmer Jeffery Sylvester was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Ville Platte Rotary Club.

    Sylvester farms some 5000 acres of rice, soybeans and crawfish. He and his wife, Cathy are the parents of six children. Louisiana is one of the leading states in rice production with Arkansas being the top producing state. He told club members that rice farmers are urging the Congress not to tinker with the Farm Bill and its safety net provisions.

   Sylvester said he feels that despite the comments by the President, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is good for American producers. He said Mexico is the number one rice buyer of Louisiana rice and Canada is the #4 buyer of our rice.  The price of rice has dropped because of the dumping of cheap Vietnamese rice on the world market.

   He reported that the crawfish industry is booming. Some 90 percent of all rice farmers are growing crawfish. He called it a “good money maker”.

   Sylvester was the guest of Rotarian John Mayeaux.

   In other news, Maggie Ortego reported that the rotary sponsored “Choices” program will be taught at four classes at Ville Platte High School on April 24 and 25.

  Larry Lachney announced that the Sacred Heart Interact Club did very well at the recent Interact Conference including Interactor of the Year award and first place in the T Shirt competition.



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