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SC Commissioner Weathers: NASDA 2022

The National Association of State Department of Agriculture held its annual meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers was there. How was it, Commissioner?

It’s great to speak with other agriculture commissioners from around the country. Some are elected, some are appointed, and we come from all different kinds of backgrounds and states, but we all have the interests of farmers in common.

We had meetings with our regional partners in SASDA (Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture) and SUSTA (Southern US Trade Association).

NASDA members also voted on some policy statements, including:

  • Supporting federal funding and cost-share grants to improve local and regional processing capacity
  • Requesting a defined process for commodities to receive consideration for specialty crop designation
  • Encouraging a science-informed response to the pollutants known as PFAS that impact farm and range lands, groundwater, surface water, livestock, and the nation’s food supply
  • Supporting “strong funding for mental health programs and research that targets farmers and ranchers”.

I and the South Carolina assistant commissioners also got a special tour of a training barn at the Saratoga Race Course.

There were several other tours scheduled, but with Hurricane Ian on the way, we headed back to South Carolina.