CHEYENNE, Wyo. | During the 2023 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Annual Meeting, NASDA members adopted two policy items to encourage the development of comprehensive and reliable disaster assistance programs for agriculture by creating individualized program timelines and adequate insurance programs. “Recent natural disasters and catastrophic events have highlighted the challenges farmers face in seeking disaster assistance. Particularly in Wyoming, USDA Farm Service Agency has worked closely with the state and farmers to help provide as much aid as possible. NASDA is advocating to give USDA more authority to be flexible in serving farmers and ranchers, especially small farms or specialty crop producers who compete on price instead of quantity,” 2022-2023 NASDA President Doug Miyamoto said. Through an action item, NASDA members charged the organization to work with USDA to allow flexible conservation program timelines. “Allowing for adaptive deadlines aligned with the damages or regional disaster patterns can help farmers recover faster and resume conservation efforts to build more resilient landscapes,” said Miyamoto. Additionally, NASDA members passed a policy amendment stating existing gaps in insurance coverage and federal disaster relief programs leave farmers increasingly vulnerable to the growing number and severity of catastrophic natural disasters. “The compounding impacts and damages caused by catastrophic wildfires, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and other natural or man-made disasters have immediate and far-reaching consequences that persist for several years; therefore, we encourage Congress and USDA to improve federal programs to help farmers recover,” Miyamoto said.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.