The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and Farm Credit joined together to celebrate 100 years of service to agriculture during a congressional reception in the United States Capitol on February 2. The reception was widely attended by Farm Credit leaders, commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture, Members of Congress, leadership from federal agencies, and agriculture industry stakeholders.
“NASDA and Farm Credit each have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to agriculture and rural America for 100 years,” said Greg Ibach, NASDA President and Nebraska Director of Agriculture. “State departments of agriculture collectively play a key role in advocating national policy and promotional activities that make sense for farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, and rural communities,” Ibach said. “Farm Credit provides access to vital financial resources for the agriculture sector and important educational opportunities for the next generation of producers. Together, our organizations have led, and will continue to lead, the way in supporting the evolving needs of all of agriculture, today and tomorrow.”
The Congressional Reception was the culmination of a full week of centennial activities for the members of both NASDA and Farm Credit, which were both founded in 1916. This week NASDA hosted 250 state and federal agriculture officials for its Winter Policy Conference, while the Farm Credit Council hosted its Annual Meeting, welcoming 800 directors and staff to the nation’s capital. Prior to the joint centennial celebration on Capitol Hill Tuesday evening, NASDA leaders and members focused on important public policy issues ranging from how to create more opportunities for beginning farmers to international trade, and domestic natural resource challenges.
“NASDA and Farm Credit have been working side by side to support rural communities and agriculture for 100 years,” said Todd Van Hoose, President and CEO of the Farm Credit Council. “Farm Credit is proud to partner with NASDA and its members to support programs that ensure rural America is healthy and thriving today, and for the next 100 years.”
One such program is the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Homegrown By Heroes program, a consumer product labeling initiative for farmer veterans that Farm Credit has supported since its national rollout in 2014.
In addition to this week’s centennial activities, both Farm Credit and NASDA have centennial programs planned throughout the year, both in D.C. and in communities across the country. Farm Credit will celebrate Farm Credit Week in June, while the Nebraska Director of Agriculture Greg Ibach, the 2015 – 2016 President of NASDA, will host NASDA’s Annual Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska, in September.
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.