Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) along with Representatives Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced the Farming Support to States Act, to provide state departments of agriculture with access to immediate, flexible funding to aid in responding to urgent and emerging issues in the food and agriculture supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring voiced support for the bill which would provide $1 billion for food and agriculture aid to the states.
“The Farming Support to States Act will provide states with the funds they need to foster a more resilient food system. We thank Senators Baldwin, Collins, and King, and Representatives Torres Small and Johnson, for their collaborative work to provide much needed aid that will meet the unique needs of agriculture and rural communities in America. NASDA Members are uniquely qualified to provide long-term recovery for their agricultural communities,” said Commissioner Goehring.
State departments of agriculture are using existing resources to triage the needs of their producers. States have proven their ability to effectively respond to the unique needs of food and agriculture producers in their communities. A few examples of how funding from the Farming Support to States Act could be used include:
- Ensuring our agricultural workforce and our food supply stays safe,
- Supporting market development for local and regional food systems,
- Expanding and diversifying food processing and distribution,
- Expanding farmer mental health services,
- Funding job workshops, critical food safety training and more.
“The Farming Support to States Act is an excellent example of the smart policymaking needed to ensure COVID-19 recovery efforts reach the nooks and crannies of rural America,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn. “NASDA Members are using existing resources to keep our producers afloat. While we don’t yet know every long-term solution needed, state departments of agriculture are ready to work for their 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 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.
Learn more about the Farming Support to States Act at www.nasda.org/farmingsupporttostates.