The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture set policy priorities for the upcoming year during its annual meeting.
NASDA will advocate to give the USDA more authority to be flexible in serving farmers and ranchers who often face challenges in seeking disaster assistance. NASDA members also want existing gaps in insurance coverage and federal disaster relief programs closed to protect farmers from an increasing number of natural disasters. Members will also advocate for standards that ensure clear and consistent labeling for cell-based meat products, also referred to as cultured meat.
During the meeting, NASDA also adopted a new policy of supporting laws that protect farmers’ right to farm. The new policy advocates for protecting agricultural and forestry operations from nuisance lawsuits. NASDA members also amended the organization’s policy to support increased investment in apprenticeships and educational programming because of a tremendous need for workers with training specializing in agricultural fields.
NASDA also finished its annual meeting by electing new leadership for 2023-2024. Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, will serve as NASDA’s 2023-2024 President and host the 2024 NASDA Annual Meeting on September 22-25, 2024.
“The opportunity to serve as NASDA President is incredibly humbling and certainly an honor, and I appreciate the support of my fellow Ag Commissioners in this new role,” Arthur says. “Agriculture looks different all across the U.S., but I look forward to working together to cultivate common ground as we help producers feed, fuel, and clothe the world.”
She also says NASDA members will remain steadfast in their commitment to strengthen and promote agriculture in this country and she’s excited to continue this work. Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward is the new Vice President, Amanda Beal of Maine is Second VP, and Washington’s Derek Sandison is the Secretary-Treasurer.