Today during the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 2021 Annual Meeting, NASDA members amended the organization’s policy on the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Members voted to advocate for USDA to allow hemp to be designed as both a specialty crop and an agronomic commodity depending its intended use.
NASDA’s policy states, “NASDA supports the dual designation for hemp as a specialty crop based on the manner and purpose for which it is grown. NASDA supports expanding the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding eligibility to hemp crops with horticultural uses.”
NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn expounded on the importance of dual designation for hemp.
“Allowing hemp to be designated as both a specialty crop and a traditional commodity recognizes the crop’s up-and-coming nature and assures new farmers will be supported in their decisions to grow the crop for either food, fiber or horticultural use. In addition, designating the crop as eligible for Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding promises that more research will be dedicated to the new industry, laying a strong foundation for the industry to build on,” Glenn said.
“As the regulators and stewards of healthy agricultural industries in their states, NASDA members have been the leading voice for supporting the hemp industry since hemp’s inclusion in the 2014 Farm Bill. This action would be another important step in helping hemp achieve long-term sustainability.”
Learn more about NASDA’s support of the hemp industry at NASDA.org/Hemp.
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 American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.