For his entire professional career, René has had a strong interest in agriculture and how all levels of government interact with farmers. In January 2008, René began his career at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and got a firsthand look at how government policy affects not only farmers, but rural and urban communities. He presently serves as Director of the Louisiana Sweet Potato Advertising and Development Commission. A position he has held for 14 years. He has represented the Louisiana and United States sweet potato industry both nationally and internationally. Over the last 5 years, the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission has dedicated over $350,000 to research at the LSU AgCenter. He also serves as the Director of the Louisiana Dairy Stabilization Board. Prior to his work at LDAF, René farmed sugarcane and soybeans on 2200 acres in St. Mary Parish. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Louisiana State University. René is married to Margaret Daniels Simon, a New Orleans native. Maggie and René currently reside in New Iberia, and they are the proud parents of 4 children.