News Date: 02/24/2009
The state commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture had the opportunity to meet and hear from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson during NASDA’s Midyear Meeting held February 19 to 22 in Washington, D.C.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and EPA Administrator Jackson addressed NASDA’s morning general session on February 20 in a joint panel discussion. They outlined the Obama Administration’s goals and priorities on agriculture and environmental policy, and held an extensive interactive discussion with NASDA members on a number of key topics ranging from climate change, renewable energy, Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), air quality, rural development, food safety, international trade and economic stimulus. Vilsack and Jackson both emphasized their desire to enhance federal-state partnerships and to work closely with state agriculture departments.
NASDA members also held discussions with congressional staff members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees who addressed the session on February 20. They outlined the legislative and policy outlook on food and agricultural issues in Congress, including implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill. The plenary session also included presentations on animal biotechnology (see separate story) and RFD-TV. (Contact: Stephen Haterius)
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