Kassi Berard, a Breaux Bridge and St. Martin Parish native, was selected the 2016 Outstanding Young Farm Woman, Thursday, June 23, at the 94th Annual Louisiana Farm Bureau Convention.
This award is presented to a woman agriculture producer who promotes leadership and the continuation of the family farm in Louisiana.
"When my name was called, I was stunned, thankful and validated for my hard work,” Berard said.
Berard's family are first generation sugarcane and soybean farmers. Her dad was always working in the fields so to spend more time with him she had to learn to drive a tractor and truck at the age of six.
Berard is a business graduate of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and is pursuing an online agribusiness masters degree from Kansas State University. Her goal is to eventually take over the family farm from her dad.and spent eight years in sales before calling her dad one day.
"I am coming home to farm,” she said. She has been a fulltime farmer for the past five years.
Being very active in the Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) program has provided Berard with an opportunity to network with other producers and share adverse issues to find solutions.
"YF&R is a tremendous experience and the group serves as an extended family,” Berard said.
Berard said she loves speaking every chance she gets about the importance of agriculture and tell the farmer’s story.The Berard family farms ,acres of sugarcane and soybeans. Berard has served as an advocate for the American Sugar Cane League traveling to Washington D.C. to lobby for farm policy.
She is a recent alum of the LSU AgCenter’s Leadership program. Berard also currently serves on the St. Martin Parish Farm Bureau Women’s committee as the treasurer and chairperson for the parish YF&R group. Her advice to fellow young farmers is simple.
"Be prepared to work hard and love what you do every day," she said. "Farming is not about the money or the glory, it is the passion for farming and what the family farm represents.”
By Frankie Gould, LSU AgCenter
for the Louisiana FArm Bureau Federation
Kassi Berard, center, accepts the 2016 Young Farm Woman Award at the 94th Annual Louisiana Farm Bureau Convention in New Otleans. Berard, a sugarcane farmer from St. Martin Parish was joined onstage during the Awards ceremony by Amelia Kent, left, chair of the Young Farmer's and Rancher's Committee and Louisiana Farm Bureau President Ronnie Anderson, right.