National Association of State Departments of Agriculture leaders have selected seven priorities for the new year: the farm bill, animal health, environmental regulations, food production and the supply chain, food safety, international trade and workforce development.
NASDA members “see specific opportunities for progress” in those areas, NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said in a statement, calling the priorities “areas where state departments of agriculture are uniquely positioned to lead impact and direct policymaking solutions.”
NASDA leaders said “the next Farm Bill must remain unified — securing a commitment to American agriculture and the critical food and nutritional assistance programs for those who need it most.”
Maintaining uses for pesticides approved by EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act is critical for “keeping essential tools that allow growers to produce our nation’s food, fiber and fuel,” NASDA said.
On the new Waters of the U.S. rule, NASDA said, “It is imperative the federal government respects that the primary responsibility for planning the development and use of water resources rests with the states.”
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NASDA said it is “committed to ensuring long-term stability and resilience in our nation’s food supply chain through supporting projects to increase U.S. meat processing, food and nutrition security and reducing food waste.”
The group will additionally press for clarity on some Food Safety Modernization Act implementation issues and work with “intergovernmental agencies and industry stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach to animal health initiatives.”
NASDA’s priorities were established through collaboration between elected and appointed state commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture representing all 50 states and four U.S. territories.
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