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Update on Strain Meeting with Presidential Ag Adviser and EPA

April 13, 2017

Baton Rouge, La. (April 13, 2017) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., returned from Washington D.C. Wednesday evening following meetings with high ranking federal administrators. Strain met with Ray Starling who serves as President Donald Trump’s special assistant for agriculture, trade and food assistance and with Scott Pruitt who is the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

Strain, who also serves as the president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), led a delegation of NASDA members to discuss topics such as international trade agreements for agriculture, proper implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the need for a framework which provides farmers and ranchers a legal, reliable workforce.

 

Strain and the NASDA members discussed with Pruitt federal policymaking and full funding for federal mandates for which states act as co-regulators. They also highlighted the importance of the EPA to base decisions on science. NASDA members also stressed the importance of volunteer, incentive-based nutrient management programs and the need for sufficient resources to assist in the maintenance and health of agriculture’s most important resource – water. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS), which is the effort to keep navigable waters clean, and Worker Protection Standards (WPS), which are regulations designed to protect agriculture workers, were also discussed.

 

“Our discussions with Administrator Pruitt and Mr. Starling focused on how the new administration and NASDA can work to continue advancing American agriculture. In order to achieve this, we need to be co-equal partners at the federal and state levels. I was very encouraged by the frank discussions we had about moving the agriculture and forestry industries forward,” said Strain.

 

This is Strain’s third visit in recent months to Washington D.C. to meet with White House senior cabinet officials.

 

 

 

 

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