NASDA members press Congress to enact long-term Farm Bill
At a meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in Washington D.C. last week, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., along with top state agriculture officials from around the country, called on Congress to quickly enact a long-term Farm Bill. A five-year Farm Bill will give America's farmers and ranchers more certainty for the future of their operations. "This morning I met with farmers in Jeff Davis Parish and one of their main concerns is the lack of a long-term Farm Bill. While the Farm Bill has been extended for several months, there's too much uncertainty when it comes to disaster provisions and other challenges such as proposed state tax reform issues that may impact our Louisiana farmers," said Strain. "I urge you to reach out to your congressional leaders to take action on this sooner rather than later," he added. NASDA members also pressed Congress to pass a Farm Bill that includes a Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and continues support of the Market Access Program (MAP) and other trade development programs. The association also focused on fully funding invasive species programs with enhanced federal-state coordination, providing conservation programs, advancing agricultural research activities, and ensuring a viable safety net for our nation's dairy producers. In addition to the urgent need for a long-term Farm Bill, NASDA members also discussed other issues affecting American agriculture. The role of states in leveraging federal program dollars to deliver state-federal cooperative programs, especially those regarding significant responsibilities resulting from the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.