Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) convened at the White House today for the White House Conference on Rural Prosperity where Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and other administration officials addressed the important opportunities for the federal government and states to work together to advance Rural America.
During the conference, Secretary Perdue and Commissioner Gottlieb signed a formal agreement to bolster coordination and collaboration between the two agencies on a number of issues including Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation and the Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology.
Steven K. Reviczky, NASDA President and Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture, underscored the importance of cooperative state-federal partnerships in advancing agriculture.
“Increased opportunities for state-federal cooperation to enhance food safety are always welcome,” said Reviczky. “This cooperation is vital for the success of farmers and takes the preventive approach to food safety to new levels. We look forward to working with the Administration to advance the goals of the agreement.”
“We applaud the commitment by USDA and FDA to enhance cooperation, especially in implementing the FSMA produce safety rule and the Coordinated Framework. The USDA has significant expertise on farm practices and we are happy to see both agencies commit to working more closely to improve FSMA implementation. Our farmers can better meet the safety expectations of the public as a result from collaboration between the two agencies.”
NASDA Members are gathered in Washington, DC this week for one of two annual meetings where the policy positions and priorities for the association are determined. Today’s opening plenary session examined agriculture and food policy trends for 2018. The session, moderated by Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich, featured Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association; Randy Gordon, National Grain and Feed Association; and Lisa Van Doren, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
NASDA Members passed a number of action items for the association, including:
1. Calling on Congress to pass a unified, fully-funded Farm Bill before authorization expires on September 30.
2. Urging Congress and the Administration to invest in broadband infrastructure and expand broadband service.
3. Calling for meaningful investments in any infrastructure package developed by Congress and the Administration.
4. Requesting the U.S. Department of Labor to expand work based training to include apprenticeships and microcredentials.
NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty 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. For more information about the Winter Policy Conference, please click here.