SPARKS NAMED PRESIDENT-ELECT OF NATIONAL AG GROUP
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Ron Sparks, commissioner of Alabama's Department of Agriculture and Industries, was named president-elect of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) during its semi-annual meeting in Seattle last week.
Sparks, who has previously served as 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, including new innovations for alternative fuels such as the use of algae oil and how these changes could fit in with Alabama's aquaculture industry. Regulations concerning interstate and intrastate meat shipments were also examined to try and determine how they can help U.S. businesses, instead of hindering them with unnecessary red tape.
There were also 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 also reviewed and the organization plans to continue to work with congressional delegations as it goes through the Senate.
NASDA represents all of the 50 states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The majority of the members are secretaries or commissioners of state departments of agriculture.