2023 Happy New Year agricultural business concept. Aerial view of farming tractor plowing and spraying on green field.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) today announced the seven issues that will form the organization’s policy focus for 2023:

The 2023 Farm Bill

NASDA has outlined funding and/or policy recommendations for 10 areas of the farm bill: agriculture research, animal disease, conservation and climate resiliency, cybersecurity, food safety, hemp, invasive species, local food systems, specialty crop block grant, and trade promotion. Read more.

Environmental regulation

NASDA supports the framework of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, but is concerned about the impact of some of the proposed restrictions on farmers. They are also concerned that the new “waters of the U.S.” rule will take too much power away from the states in regulating non-navigable waters. Read more.

Food production and the supply chain

NASDA is encouraging Congress to provide funding for meat processing training, modernizing outdated processing facilities, and technical assistance for food safety programs. In addition, they want Congress to give USDA resources for block meat processor grants to be administered by state agriculture departments. Read more.

Food safety

NASDA recommends additional funding for four FSMA programs: produce safety rule implementation, animal food preventive controls rule implementation, food safety outreach program, and produce safety alliance. They also have various recommendations for the FDA concerning food traceability technology. Read more.

Animal health

NASDA has a variety of requests to help intergovernmental agencies and industry stakeholders work collaboratively to support animal health. These include resources to support early detection, surveillance, response, and control; increased oversight at the borders to prevent disease introduction; and funding for traceability infrastructure. Read more.

International trade

NASDA seeks to create more export opportunities for U.S. producers via new and expanded trade agreements, funding for trade promotion programs, and engagement with global trade institutions such as the World Trade Organization and Codex Alimentarius Commission. Read more.

Workforce development

NASDA has a long list of recommendations and requests related to workforce development. These include several immigration policies such as a path to legal status for agricultural workers and amending the H-2A and H-2B programs, expanding the agricultural curriculum in schools, expanding work-based training (e.g., apprenticeships), and more. Read more.

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