The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture comprises commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture from all 50 states and four U.S. territories. The commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture are government officials responsible for the administration, regulation and promotion of agricultural activities in their state. While responsibilities vary from state to state, all help shape agricultural policies to benefit not only farmers and ranchers, but also those who consume their products.
NASDA recently caught up with NASDA President Wyoming Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto to delve further into his responsibilities as a state agriculture director. As the director describes, this role requires not just implementing regulations and aligning policies with the state governor’s office, but also supporting the needs of farmers and ranchers.
“You need to be carrying out the statutory mandate for the agency and make sure obviously that you’re following through on the desires of the governor’s office at the same time,” Director Miyamoto said. “What’s unique about departments of agriculture though is that you’re filling this double role as a regulatory entity on the one hand for agriculture but on the other hand you are also an advocate for agriculture, and I think that’s a little bit unique in the regulatory agency rolls of states traditionally.”
Director Miyamoto’s role, encompassing advocacy, regulation and policymaking, centers on ensuring a fair and thriving agricultural industry for the state, U.S. and world.
“It levels the playing field, not just within the state but on a national level, and to some degree on an international scale as well,” Director Miyamoto said. “Through policy discussions we have as respected state departments of agriculture, I think primarily what we’re aiming for is to create a level playing field for folks that are in the agriculture industry and looking to compete in commerce.”
By engaging in policy discussions and negotiations with entities both in Wyoming and beyond, the department bridges the gap between the needs of Wyoming’s agricultural producers and the broader economic and regulatory landscape. This unique position involves shaping and executing policies that regulate while supporting the interests of agriculture.
At the end of the day, Director Miyamoto says working to benefit the farmers and ranchers in his state is the best part of his job.
“My primary driver is the advocacy work that we get to do for our agricultural producers in our state,” Director Miyamoto said. “I think that’s always the most fun part of the job is that we’re always trying to improve conditions and we’re always trying to negotiate on behalf of our agricultural producers.”
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.