APRIL 8, 2019—Natchitoches Parish, La.—Twenty-year veteran of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, medical marijuana proponent, former law enforcement officer and long-time farmer, Charlie Greer has announced his candidacy for Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry.
“I’ve given the biggest part of my life to public service and the Department of Agriculture & Forestry in the great state of Louisiana,” says Greer. “As your Commissioner, I will use my experience, knowledge and leadership to make the department an effective and proactive agency with sufficient manpower and funding so we can better protect and advocate for our consumers, our resources and the hardworking citizens of our state’s diverse agricultural and forestry industry.”
Greer is a strong advocate for medical marijuana, which is legal in 33 states. Louisiana first legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes in 1978. Greer also supports the production of industrial hemp, which was signed into law in 2018 by President Trump.
“In 2015, legislation was passed allowing experts at LSU and Southern University to grow and produce medical-grade marijuana,” says Greer. “But for more than three years, the current commissioner has created roadblocks. When elected, I will work diligently to remove the bureaucracy surrounding the process to produce this vitally important plant-based medicine that patients in Louisiana are legally entitled to.”
Greer is a native of Pine Prairie where he grew up farming. Greer graduated from Pine Prairie High School. He later attended LSU and graduated from their Law Enforcement Institute, where he was elected class president. He served as chief deputy and chief criminal investigator for Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, wildlife agent and president of the Louisiana Wildlife Agent Association and lobbyist for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. He also served the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry for 20 years, where at the time of his retirement in 2013, he was program director/forestry enforcement chief and working closely with the state’s landowners and loggers. He’s also raised both cattle and horses and currently manages family timberlands. Greer was appointed by the governor to serve on the Red River Waterway Commission.
“We are truly blessed with an abundance of natural resources here in Louisiana,” says Greer. “We need to support our own local farmers and fisheries, but when we do bring in foreign seafood, we must ensure it’s tested and safe for our consumers—and that’s currently not the case.”
Louisiana is a big producer of sugarcane, rice, soybeans, cotton and strawberries as well as cattle, chicken and horses. In addition, according to the LSU AgCenter Louisiana’s forestry industry is worth more than $10 billion, with timber covering half the state and providing nearly 46,000 jobs—around the same number as the state’s oil and gas industry.
“There are so many aspects of your daily life that go through the hands of the Department of Agriculture & Forestry, from products you buy at the grocery store to the gas you put in your car,” says Greer. “My number-one goal is making sure we’re doing our jobs right, and the taxpayers are getting what they pay for.”
Greer is a member of B.A.S.S., CASA of Central Louisiana, Ducks Unlimited, Farm Bureau, LA Cattleman’s Association, LA Levee Board Association, Louisiana Forestry Association, the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association, National Water Ways Association, Quail and Pheasants Forever, Red River Valley Association. He’s a past member of the American Quarter Horse Association as well as the American Brangus Association and American Braford Association. A lifelong hunter, fisherman and farmer, Greer and his wife Martha reside in Natchitoches Parish where they attend Good Home Baptist Church.