The NASDA Foundation has teamed up with the Farm Foundation to conduct its first-ever educational tour program for Congressional staff. The first tour took place last week in Central Florida and included Congressional staff from Florida, New Mexico, Georgia and North Carolina. The staff were treated to an exciting agenda organized by Commissioner Putnam’s staff at the Florida Department of Food and Consumer Services (FDACS). Included in the agenda were meetings with senior executives of Publix Supermarket chain to learn about efforts to combat food waste, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association to learn about conservation and land use and faculty from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to learn about research on plant diseases including citrus greening.
Staff from FDACS also presented to the Congressional staff to share information about food safety programs and pest and disease surveillance, and mitigation. Leaders from Florida’s Natural and the Florida Department of Citrus and the Florida citrus industry educated the group about citrus processing and marketing. Representatives of Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Strawberry Growers Association, and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association discussed specialty crops programs and agricultural trade in a panel discussion led by Matt Joyner, Deputy Chief of Staff to Commissioner Putnam.