This week, our lobbyist Shannon Campagna and I attended the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) annual meeting in Hartford, Connecticut to spend time with the nation’s agriculture leaders, their staff, and other supporters of U.S. agriculture. We have had many positive discussions with leaders of state agriculture departments. We were heartened by the positive feedback we received about working together for our common benefit.

Unfortunately, also at this meeting, NASDA’s membership voted on action item that encourages the FDA to enforce its outdated “standard of identity” for milk. While we’re disappointed that a few NASDA members put this forward, we remain optimistic about the future and finding common ground. Our shared message is clear: There’s room for everyone in the marketplace, so let’s work together to create opportunity for everyone.

As we shared from our recent Nielsen data, now is a time of unprecedented growth for plant-based foods. PBFA members source from numerous components of our nation’s agricultural bounty, including nuts, grains, beans, and seeds, among other input ingredients. We know that NASDA’s state-level agriculture leaders appreciate the value that plant-based foods bring to our nation’s farmers, and we look forward to productive conversations moving forward and building on our relationships with NASDA members.

– Michele Simon

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