NASDA enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement.

Public Policy

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt, NASDA continued to unify and elevate states’ voices on the highest profile and most impactful agricultural and food policy issues. The pandemic posed many challenges to the agricultural industry, and NASDA continued work to adjust the U.S. food supply system to meet the changing needs of Americans. NASDA placed emphasis on achieving the policy priorities identified in 2021 to empower NASDA members to best meet states’ needs. The policy priorities were food systems and food safety, infrastructure and capacity, climate resiliency, international trade and workforce development.

Climate Resiliency

NASDA continued to work towards climate smart agricultural solutions through policy engagement on a variety of issues including soil health, carbon sequestration, and research. NASDA, a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, supported the Growing Climate Solutions Act which passed the Senate. NASDA continues to work with USDA and other groups on climate smart agriculture and forestry, advocating for voluntary, incentive- and science-based climate and conservation programs.

Food Systems and Food Safety

NASDA engaged with FDA on its agricultural water proposed rule and other areas of the Food Safety Modernization Act to ensure the continued safety of our nation’s food supply. Additionally, NASDA worked with FDA, USDA and other federal partners on key issues such as Specialty Crop Block Grants and funds for expanding federal meat and poultry processing facility grants to state inspected meat processing facilities to invest in local and regional food systems in response to supply chain vulnerabilities revealed by COVID-19. NASDA continues to work with federal partners to help farmers access stable, reliable and legal labor needed to ensure crops reach grocery store shelves.

Infrastructure and Capacity

NASDA advocated for funding for roads, rural broadband, and fire assistance programs, which were included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law November 2021. NASDA continues to work closely with federal agencies as they implement the act. Rural broadband is a top priority. NASDA supports the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, which aims to expand high-speed internet access by giving states funding for planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs. NASDA also endorsed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021. This bipartisan bill was designed to support the growth and development of U.S. exports and promote more fair and reciprocal trade in the common carriage of goods by water in the foreign commerce of the United States.

International Trade

In 2021, NASDA engaged with the White House, USDA, USTR and other federal entities to pursue new opportunities for free and fair trade of agricultural products, while enforcing existing free trade agreements, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. At the 30th annual meeting of the Tri-National Agricultural Accord, U.S. and Mexican state agricultural officials established a work group to promote science-based regulation of agricultural products for trade between the countries. NASDA continued work with Canada and Mexico to strengthen agriculture and trade across North America.

Workforce Development

NASDA engaged with the White House, Congress and industry partners on tackling issues related to immigration and the agricultural workforce. Working with our federal partners, NASDA continued working toward reformation of labor and immigration laws, advocating for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which was passed by the House. This bill would make year-round H-2A visas available. NASDA continues to work with federal partners to help farmers access stable, reliable and legal labor needed to ensure crops reach grocery store shelves. NASDA also worked toward strengthening the agricultural workforce through recommendations including redefining agricultural employment, engaging youth in agriculture, developing work-based training and encouraging agency collaborations.

A Glance at NASDA’s FY21 Revenue: 3.9 Million

A Glance at NASDA’s FY21 Revenue: 3.9 Million

NASDA – NASS Partnership

The NASDA-NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) cooperative agreement serves the need for high-quality agricultural and rural data for the U.S. It ensures that farmers and ranchers have a voice in the future of rural communities and all of agriculture. NASDA employs about 2,500 enumerators across the country who collect data on the agricultural economy, operations, and production. This data also guides innovative research and is essential for making educated policy decisions at all levels of government. Our cooperative agreement remains strong, viable, and dedicated to our mission and goals.

2500 NASDA Enumerators collecting farm data

NASDA-FAS Partnership

Through our cooperative agreement with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, NASDA utilized Market Access Program and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funds to help small and medium U.S. food and beverage companies export their products all over the world.

export sales/buyer sell introductions

NASDA Foundation

The mission of the NASDA Foundation is to enhance American food and agriculture communities through education, outreach and research. The Foundation carries out this mission by working with state departments of agriculture on regional and national programs that:

  • Connect farmers to new markets.
  • Inspire change across the supply chain.
  • Empower diverse farmers & agricultural leaders to reach their dreams.

The NASDA Foundation is growing a portfolio of projects that advance and amplify the work of NASDA members. Over the past year, the NASDA Foundation has led:

  • Women’s Farm to Food Accelerator in Oregon, Washington, Florida and Nevada: Partnered with state departments of agriculture to develop a program that empowers women farmers to scale-up their food and beverage businesses. The program had 50 participants in 2021. The NASDA Foundation now anticipates offering this program to participants in California, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada and Virginia by 2023.
  • Agriculture Policy Summit: Partnered with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) to host the Agriculture Policy Summit for the third consecutive year. This summit taught college students about the organizations and federal agencies that influence and administer agricultural policy and provided $20,000 in workforce development scholarships.
  • NASDA’s Next Generation: 14 students participated in the 2021 class of NASDA’s Next Generation, and 14 students were selected to be a part of the 2022 class. The purpose of this program is for college students to have a better understanding of agriculture public policy and current food and agriculture issues through hands-on participation at NASDA’s annual meeting.

USDA GAP Cooperative Agreement

The NASDA Foundation and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service established a cooperative agreement September 2021 for growers and handlers who are more frequently asked to demonstrate a commitment to food safety through third-party audits, known as a Good Agricultural Practices certification. The goal of the cooperative agreement is to provide an education and outreach strategy that would remove barriers to USDA GAP Program participation by socially disadvantaged and underserved growers. A pilot education and outreach program was developed for stakeholders – state departments of agriculture, cooperative extension and non-governmental organizations – to address the barriers associated with the different GAP standards, including GroupGAP, to the target audience.

NASDA-FDA Partnership

The impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act on agriculture is enormous. As a result, NASDA is heavily engaged with FDA on policy and program issues regarding its implementation. The NASDA Foundation continues to focus on developing consistent state programs for the implementation of the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Animal Food rules. Additional priorities include: the definition of a farm, understandable agricultural water standards, a clear need for parity regarding foreign and domestic food production and adequate funding of FDA and the states to correctly implement these new requirements. NASDA is also continuing to refine its On-Farm Readiness Review program and keeping a focus on the value of continuing education to help farmers prevent foodborne illnesses.