The 2017 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature kicked off Monday, with lawmakers once again tackling budget and tax issues.
Farmers and ranchers need to take an active role in this session by communicating with their local senators and representatives, said Ronnie Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.
"There's all sorts of things being thrown out as to what will happen in this session," said Anderson. "If our people say in touch, make the contacts to senators and representatives, let them know how you feel on these things, I think we'll be successful."
Anderson said Farm Bureau is constantly watching out for agriculture's interests at the State Capitol, and ongoing budget fights are nothing new for the organization.
"We've had to go and fight for the Department of Agriculture's budget. We've had to fight for the AgCenter's budget. We've had to try keep the support agencies that we need in a good financial order," he said.
While Farm Bureau has a full-time staff that deals with legislative issues year-round, Anderson said there is no substitute for local farmers and ranchers talking directly to their elected lawmakers.
"When our Farm Bureau membership gets involved, they can really have a big impact on what happens up there," he said.
This is a fiscal-only session which ends on June 8th.