Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Named NASDA

MONTGOMERY - Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks was named President-Elect of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) during their semi-annual meeting held in Seattle, Washington last week.

Sparks who has previously served as the President of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) will become President of NASDA in 2008.

Several issues important to agriculture in Alabama were discussed at length during the conference.

One key issue was new innovations for alternative fuels such as the use of algae oil and how these changes can possibly fit in with Alabama's aquaculture industry.

Regulations concerning interstate and intrastate meat shipments were examined to try and determine how they can help US businesses instead of hindering them with unnecessary red tape.

There were extensive discussions between the NASDA membership and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) representatives about food shipments into this country.

NASDA leadership encouraged the FDA to have a wider range of people who would have input on issues related to the safety of food imports.

The Farm Bill was reviewed and the organization plans to continue to try to work with their Congressional delegations as it goes through the Senate.

NASDA represents all of the 50 states in the US and Puerto Rico.

The majority of the members are Secretaries or Commissioners of state Departments of Agriculture.