This week, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) came to an agreement regarding priorities for the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. According to NASDA, the Farm Bill is vital to providing consumers access to the safest, highest quality and most affordable food supply, which is essential for our nation’s economy and security.
“The farm bill is vital for communities of every size across the country and for healthy food, job creation, and natural resource conservation,” says NASDA president Michael G. Strain, who is also the Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry commissioner. “We are committed to working with Congress to craft a bill that provides the tools our producers need to succeed and provide consumers access to safe, high quality, and affordable food.
NASDA’s priorities include:
- Planning loans for farmers and ranchers who need infrastructure upgrades required to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act.
- Additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Market Access Program, and “invasive species” programs.
- Additional funding for animal disease coordination (including research and up-to-date tools)
- Investing in voluntary conservation programs
NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders.