Ernest Girouard, president of the association, said Strain was granted the award because of his strong support of Louisiana's conservation efforts.
"Commissioner Strain has given a new and greater emphasis to soil and water conservation through his office at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF)," Girouard said. "He has a heightened interest in guaranteeing the sustainability of agriculture and understands the importance of maintaining healthy soil and water quality. If we allow these resources to deteriorate, we will not be able to supply the world with the food, fiber and energy it will need in the future."
Girouard also cited Strain's backing of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, a program designed to teach and assist farmers to implement conservation and resource management practices on their farms.
Farmers work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, LSU AgCenter and LDAF to prepare and implement resource management plans. LDAF has certified more than 135 Louisiana agricultural producers as Master Farmers.
"It's an honor to be recognized as a conservationist," Strain said. "When I worked in my family's cattle operation, we were always mindful of preserving and protecting the land and using the resources in the best possible way. I am grateful that as Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry I can now play an even greater role in the conservation of Louisiana's soil and water resources."