February 6, 2023
US' NASDA points out farm bill, animal health as priorities
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in the United States has set its federal policy focus for 2023.
Seven issues were chosen as priorities: the 2023 farm bill, animal health, environmental regulations, food production and the supply chain, food safety, international trade and workforce development.
"These issues were chosen for the organisation's 2023 focus as NASDA members see specific opportunities for progress regarding each of these areas to best serve farmers, ranchers and all communities across the nation," said NASDA chief executive officer Ted McKinney. "Further, we believe these are the areas where state departments of agriculture are uniquely positioned to lead impact and direct policymaking solutions this year."
NASDA published one-pagers offering insight on each policy priority as follow:
- 2023 Farm Bill: The next US farm bill must remain unified, securing a commitment to American agriculture and the critical food and nutritional assistance programmes for those who need it most;
- Environmental regulation: The NASDA supports the science-based and comprehensive regulatory framework the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act provides to ensure environmental and public health protection. The organisation stands ready to assist the US Environmental Protection Agency in implementing FIFRA, ensuring the environment, including endangered species, is protected and US farmers and public health officials have access to the technologies they need. Concerning the recently published "Waters of the US" rule, NASDA will continue to impress the role of US states in regulating non-navigable waters;
- Food Production and the supply chain: The NASDA is committed to ensuring long-term stability and resilience in the US' food supply chain through supporting projects to increase US meat processing, food and nutrition security and reducing food waste;
- Food safety: The NASDA will continue to advocate for funding state Food Safety Modernization Act programmes as state departments of agriculture are the front line of protection for consumers when it comes to food safety.
State agencies, including state departments of agriculture, play a vital role in implementing and enforcing the US' food safety and inspection laws.
- Animal health: The NASDA is committed to working with intergovernmental agencies and industry stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach to animal health initiatives, especially in protecting US livestock from foreign and emerging animal diseases;
- International trade: To increase export opportunities for US food, agriculture and forestry producers, the NASDA is asking the US Congress and the Joe Biden administration to leverage existing trading relationships, secure new trade agreements, fully fund trade promotion programmes and engage with global trade institutions. The organisation continues to advocate for the promotion of science-and-evidence based trade standards globally;
- Workforce development: The NASDA is committed to working with the federal government, private industry and academia to identify and address agricultural workforce challenges.