2011 NASDA Annual Meeting in Review

News Date: 09/27/2011

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) hosted the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture's (NASDA) Annual Meeting Sept. 14-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. More than 45 states were represented at the meeting where agricultural leaders determined NASDA's key priorities, elected the 2011-2012 board of directors and observed Utah's agriculture.

Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, USTR, and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, USDA, among other speakers, provided their insight to NASDA members on pertinent agricultural issues of mutual interest. After regional and committee meetings, the delegation voted to focus NASDA's efforts for the 2012 Farm Bill on supporting Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, MAP funding, consolidation of some programs within the Conservation Title and Plant Pest & Disease Management funding. Other issues recommended to NASDA as priorities include:                                                                               

  • Agricultural Labor
  • Creating a Farm Bill title to deal with Invasive Species
  • Seeking to secure adequate pass-through funding related to partnership programs that are administered by state departments of agriculture
  • Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Produce Safety Rule
  • Importance of an adequate safety net
  • Environmental regulations affecting agriculture and
  • Expanding trade opportunities 

NASDA members traveled to various parts of Utah learning the unique agricultural practices in and around Salt Lake City. UDAF showcased salt mining, hay production, local livestock and agricultural tourism. Attendees visited Black Island Farms, Bailey Farms International, Thousand Peaks Ranch, the Olympic Sports Park and many other sites on tours arranged by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.