The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture this week asked the Department of Agriculture for more flexibility in the use of Specialty Crop Block Grants. 

Specifically, NASDA seeks additional flexibility in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to enhance their responses to the continued demands COVID-19 places on the industry. 

NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn stated, “challenges impacting our food supply related to COVID-19 are still present, and continued flexibility is needed.” 

In a letter to acting USDA Secretary Kevin Shea, Glenn outlined additional ways state agriculture departments could use the grants if given approval. 

Examples included implementing vaccination programs for agricultural and food workers, building COVID-19 related infrastructure and offsetting increased costs to providing safe worker housing and transportation. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, NASDA members have continuously worked to help food producers and workers stay safe and meet their communities’ needs. 

Through additional and allowed flexibility in funding programs, NASDA members would be able to leverage and maximize local solutions for local recovery efforts.

(Story Courtesy of the NAFB News Service)