The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has listed food safety as a 2018 farm bill priority. Specifically, NASDA prioritized the need farmers and ranchers may have for low-cost loans to upgrade infrastructure to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Online publication Food Safety News reports the move is not premature, noting Congress plans work on the 2018 farm bill later this year. The first in-field farm bill hearing is scheduled for later this month. Although, some lobbyists are expecting the farm bill to be delayed in a similar fashion to the 2014 farm bill, which took an extra year to finalize. Other priorities for NASDA focus on enhanced funding for invasive species programs, the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Market Access Program. The group also wants robust funding for research, new tools for animal disease coordination and investments in voluntary conservation programs. NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.