Oklahoma Ag Sec. Blayne Arthur Praises State And National Colleagues as She Highlights Last 12 MonthsWed, 24 Feb 2021 08:32:02 CST
With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur, Chairman of the NASDA Animal Agriculture Committee, updated her colleagues from other states on the committee’s progress during a zoom conference call Tuesday.
Together we’ve worked very hard to make sure farmers, ranchers and rural communities had the resources and tools they needed to overcome the challenges we saw this past year, Arthur said.
We created the meat processing working group to help overcome the supply chain disruptions and develop opportunities for meat processors across the country, Arthur said.
We all learned from each other and it was beneficial to us in Oklahoma, she said.
We want to thank Congress for passing the RAMP UP Act which will help expand meat processing across the country, she said.
Arthur said another highlight was the animal health labs in several states, including Oklahoma, stepping up to help with the human health testing for Covid-19.
We in the ag world were much better prepared to respond to a pandemic than our friends on the human health side, she said.
She praised USDA for funding opportunities that allowed them to take a proactive approach while shifting to a one-health approach to help navigate through the pandemic.
Arthur noted NASDA members act as first responders in animal health emergencies while safeguarding our food supply.
Co-chairman of the NASDA committee is Tom Hatcher, Agriculture Commissioner for Tennessee and he said the states have proven their ability to respond to the unique needs of food and agriculture producers.
Farmers are the most resilient, innovative, productive and hardheaded individuals on the planet, Hatcher said.
Priorities for this committee include strengthening the supply chain with increasing meat processing capacity and continued coordinating with all our private and public partners and leveraging our one-health approach, Hatcher said.
Arthur transitioned the conversation to emphasize the animal health biotechnology with a one-health approach to bolster the food supply.
These cutting-edge innovations are a perfect example of how animal biotech can be used to provide safe animal protein sources, Arthur said.
She said NASDA submitted comments in support of USDA’s proposal to reform the regulatory framework for the ag biotechnology products.
We are excited to work with our federal counterparts to provide producers with necessary tools to meet the increasing demand for U.S. meat and poultry products while improving climate resiliency in ag, she said.
We really like to see efficient regulatory efforts to improve the interconnection between humans, animals and the environment, Arthur said.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more comments from Sec. Arthur.
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