Baton Rouge, La. – On Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) received the Southern United States Trade Association’s (SUSTA) Outstanding Achievement Award for the Most Engagement of Special Events.
“I have always advocated expanding the exportation of Louisiana commodities and value-added products to the international marketplace,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “LDAF is continually working to increase export opportunities for Louisiana producers, and one way we’ve found to do this is through membership in the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA).”
The LDAF SUSTA coordinator is Deana Erdey, Director of the Certified Louisiana Program. In addition to her regular duties, Deana facilitates the export actions of Louisiana companies, both members of the Certified program and non-members.
“Every time SUSTA and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service call on LDAF, which is often, Deana Erdey and her team knock it out of the park. They do a phenomenal job showing off Louisiana’s rich agricultural landscape to the international community, highlighting the quality of our products as well as the sustainable practices employed by Louisiana farmers and fishermen. We thank you for sharing Louisiana agriculture with the world,” said Bernadette Wiltz-Lang, Executive Director of the Southern United States Trade Association.
In recent years, Deana’s SUSTA endeavors included:
- Facilitating Louisiana companies’ participation in three SUSTA trade shows in Miami, Germany, and Chile and two inbound and outbound trade missions in Central America and Mexico.
- Coordinating sustainability videos with SUSTA. The videos can be viewed at https://www.susta.org/whoweare/sustainablesouth/sustainablevideos/.
- Coordinating five days of Louisiana farms, ports, specialty crops, and seafood for 23 USDA Foreign Ag Service trade officials from 19 U.S. embassies – Guatemala, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Cote-d’Ivoire, Colombia, Japan, Ukraine, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Australia.
- Coordinating a tour of Louisiana culinary events for Chef Hattem Mattar from Dubai as a precursor to the 2023 Gulfood Trade Show, where approximately 4,000 companies from 120 countries will engage in cross-continental food and beverage trade/sourcing.
- Hosting a media tour of Louisiana with the U.S. Sustainability Alliance and one of their top cooperators, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, for ten European journalists focusing on Louisiana’s multi-generational farmers who are stewards of the land, conserving the state’s natural resources, and embracing sustainable practices.