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NASDA highlights priorities for strengthening food supply chain

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has submitted priorities for a resilient, diverse, and secure food supply chain as the country recovers from COVID-19.

The USDA requested comments on a department-wide effort to improve and reimagine the supply chains for production, processing, and distribution of ag commodities and food.

NASDA CEO Barb Glenn says investments in local small-scale meat processors are needed.

“Our members are very keen on this because 27 state departments of ag operate state meat and poultry inspection programs across the U.S.,” she says. “Consumers want more local meat and poultry, and our members are looking to increase that capacity.”

NASDA highlighted a resource to help combat food insecurity in its comments.

“We highlighted that NASDA has a Food Security Toolkit, a compendium of the kinds of partnerships and solutions that members in our state departments of ag achieved over the past 16 months of the pandemic,” she says.

NASDA is calling for improved cold storage infrastructure, market access for farmers and ranchers, and emergency food assistance programs. It also proposed establishing a flexible and efficient visa program that retains current workers in order to ensure there is an adequate workforce.

She tells Brownfield the NASDA members are uniquely positioned to address agricultural issues.

“Our commissioners, secretaries, and directors are boots on the ground from the farmers to the consumers and they have this amazing way of forming non-traditional partnerships, so we highlighted some of that in our comments,” she says.

Click here for more information.

Audio: Barb Glenn

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