ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) – Louisiana Central is thrilled to announce the graduation of participants from the 2023 Farmer Training Program. The graduation ceremony took place at the Louisiana Central office on September 14, 2023, marking a significant milestone for the Farm & Food Program and the aspiring farmers it serves.

The Farmer Training Program, an integral part of Louisiana Central’s Farm & Food Program, is designed to empower individuals who are passionate about agriculture and food production. Participants undergo an immersive and comprehensive curriculum that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the modern farming industry.

“The expansion of specialty crop (fruit & vegetable) production in Louisiana is vital to ensuring that our state can both retain our agrarian roots, and grow into a remarkable future,” said Louisiana Central Executive Director for Farm & Food, Bahia Nightengale. “Farmers ensure we can eat every day and this program supports existing small scale growers as well as new and beginning growers with the tools, resources, and relationships they need to thrive as both small businesses and stewards of Louisiana’s natural resources. The 2023 graduating class is destined to do great things and both myself and my team are looking forward to continuing to work with them in the coming months, seasons, and years.”

The graduation ceremony was a culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and hands-on training for the program’s participants. It was attended by program graduates, their families, mentors, community leaders, and Louisiana Central representatives.

Jim Clinton, President and CEO of Louisiana Central, expressed his pride in the graduates and the program’s success, saying, “The Farmer Training Program represents our commitment to strengthening the agricultural sector in Central Louisiana. We are immensely proud of the dedication and enthusiasm displayed by the participants throughout their training. This graduation ceremony is a testament to their hard work and determination.”

The event featured speeches from program mentors, success stories from past graduates, and a special recognition of the 2023 Farmer Training Program graduates. Graduates received certificates of completion to commemorate their achievement.

Louisiana Central’s Farm & Food Program continues to play a pivotal role in supporting the growth of agriculture and food production in Central Louisiana. It aims to foster sustainable farming practices, promote food security, and encourage entrepreneurship in the region.
For more information about the Farmer Training Program and other initiatives by Louisiana Central, please visit or contact Bahia Nightengale at

Click here to see the photo gallery of the ceremony.

About Louisiana Central
Louisiana Central is the regional economic development organization and pivotal connector for Central Louisiana dedicated to fostering economic growth and development in the ten-parish region of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon, and Winn. By attracting and supporting businesses across various sectors, including manufacturing, Louisiana Central aims to create new job opportunities and grow the region’s economy.

Learn more about Louisiana Central at