Tri-National Ag Accord Working Group visits Mexico

Photo provided by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

A delegation of ag officials from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. continues its work on challenges related to food security and biotechnology.

The Tri-National Agricultural Accord Working Group on Agriculture Technology met this week in Mexico. The group was formed in October during the 30th annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and their state and provincial counterparts in Mexico and Canada.

NASDA Second Vice President Bruce Kettler, the Indiana state department of agriculture director, says one area of focus during this session was Mexico’s decision to phase out glyphosate and GMO corn by 2024.

“That affects trade relationships, it affects what our farmers in the United States can and will grow because if this decree becomes the law it significantly affects farmers in the U.S. and Canada,” he says. “That’s what kind of started this working group to work through some of the concerns and issues on both sides of all borders around biotechnology.”

He tells Brownfield it was a successful trip. 

“It allowed us as American directors and secretaries of agriculture to better understand the research work that they’re doing and what they need to be able to be succesful,” he says. “It was really interesting and comforting to know they’re doing a lot of really great work to figure out how to make better plants and animals for their climate, soils, and farmers and ways to be able to continue to make advances.”

Other U.S. delegates on the trip included Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn; Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt; Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, and NASDA staff members including CEO Ted McKinney.

Kettler says the group met with officials and learned about research being conducted at different agricultural research institutes and universities in Mexico.

The working group will continue to meet regularly to address concerns related to biotechnology and help facilitate trade and rural development in North America.

The Tri-National Ag Accord represents a 30-year commitment among the senior state and provincial ag officials of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to work together on ag trade and development issues.

Audio: Bruce Kettler

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