Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – Today during the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 2022 Annual Meeting NASDA members encouraged the development of comprehensive and reliable disaster assistance programs for agriculture.
The agricultural industry has continued to face unprecedented disasters, and in the amended policy, NASDA “recognizes the opportunities and risks of the market economy and uncontrollable conditions that threaten farm income and production stability.” The impacts of these disasters have been exacerbated for many due to existing programs falling short in assisting farmers and ranchers to recover their production and infrastructure.
“As our climate changes, the agricultural industry is continuously impacted by historic floods, wildfires and droughts,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “In recent years, weather events have halted production, and in many cases, have brought total losses to farms across the nation. Seeing not only the impact on farmers, but the wider food supply chain, NASDA members are advocating for the 2023 farm bill to fund upgraded disaster relief programs that offer efficient, timely assistance for farmers and ranchers based on high-quality data. We must support our farmers and ranchers in times of disasters so that they can continue growing food for everyone and ensure an uninterrupted and affordable U.S. food supply.”
NASDA’s policy states that “federal policies should support and ensure farm profit viability and production stability.” This policy amendment focuses on ensuring assistance is readily available to farmers, especially new and financially distressed farmers to mitigate risks such as food price inflation and production instability.
Along with disaster assistance programs for agriculture, in another policy amendment NASDA members supported congressional action to direct the United States Army Corp of Engineers to “address flooding issues to protect agriculture in states where historical flood maps are generally thought to be out-of-date.” Addressing these issues will lessen the amount of assistance needed following disasters, relieving current disaster assistance programs and reducing farmers and ranchers’ recovery time.
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.