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Commissioner Strain Attends National Meeting

February 13, 2008

Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., and other top Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry officials recently returned from a mid-year meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in Washington D.C.

Strain, Confidential Assistant Fred Bass and Assistant Commissioner of Animal Health Services Brent Robbins also conferred with USDA Secretary Ed Schafer while in the nation’s capital.

"We reiterated to Secretary Schafer the wants and needs of Louisiana agriculture," Strain said. "I look forward to getting a new Farm Bill through Congress and having many more meetings with the Secretary.

"It’s important for the people of the state that we attend these national conferences and meet with national agricultural leaders to keep Louisiana agriculture in the forefront of everyone’s mind as much as possible. We used the opportunities at this conference to promote and learn new ways to sustain agriculture and explore marketing strategies for our farmers and their crops."

In addition to participating in break-out meetings with the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) and Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), the delegation attended a variety of committee conferences, including Animal and Plant Industries, Marketing and International Trade, and the Rural Development and Financial Security panels.

Strain, Bass and Robbins also completed a five-hour training session in the federal Incident Command System.

"Given the recent hurricane catastrophes in Louisiana, ICS training is crucial to maximize protection of our residents and their property," Strain said. "We are up to date with current protective measures as they relate to bioterrorism, natural disasters, and national and state security."