Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain., D.V.M., Natchitoches Mayor Wayne McCullen, State Senator Gerald Long and other dignitaries opened the new Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) regional office in Natchitoches today with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Less than a year ago we broke ground at this location and here we are today, ready and open for business,” Strain said. “This new building will allow us to better serve the forestry and agricultural needs of Natchitoches , Sabine, DeSoto and Red River parishes.”
McCullen and Long both agreed.
“Forestry, poultry, cotton, corn and other row crop industries are very strong in this area,” McCullen said. “I see agriculture as an economic plus and the new facility will help us keep agriculture viable in this area for years to come.”
“This project was a collaborative effort between the state and private enterprise where tax dollars were used to promote the local farming interest which is essential to the economic development of northwest Louisiana,” Long said. “This is what the public expects and fortunately we are able to provide these kinds of services.”
The new building, located on an eight-acre site at the Natchitoches Industrial Park , replaces a LDAF building which needed extensive repair. The old building, located on Highway 6, dated back to the 1930s.
Strain said the new facility will house LDAF forest fire fighting equipment as well as offices for Weights and Measures, La. Brand Commission and Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. A fueling station is also located at the new office.
“This location gives us another place that can be used as a staging area in times of state emergency like hurricanes,” Strain said.
Funding for the project was provided by 2006 state bond proceeds.