Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary-designee Randy Romanski attended the virtual 2020 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture annual meeting on Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. In the business meeting, he supported a policy amendment to create a diversity, inclusion, and racial equity policy framework as a guiding principle for NASDA.

“I am honored to be part of a national organization that recognizes the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity to the future of our agriculture community,” Romanski said in a news release. “This commitment is consistent with our own priority to ensure that agriculture reflects these values.”

NASDA members also passed an action item calling for significant congressional funding and economic incentives to increase U.S. meat and poultry processing capacity and competition. Wisconsin is one of only eight states that participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

“During this pandemic, the strength and importance of our nation’s food supply became even more apparent,” Romanski said. “Wisconsin’s diverse meat processors are well-positioned to adapt to challenges, and additional federal support will allow our state’s meat processors to invest in their operations, build resiliency, and feed consumers here at home and around the world.”

NASDA members also passed two other action items to extend federal economic development program eligibility for rural development to include rural-to-urban agricultural development projects and expand entities eligible to facilitate creation of rural broadband projects to include rural electric cooperatives.

“I am proud of the work Governor Evers has done to invest in rural broadband efforts in Wisconsin as well as create the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity and the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access,” concluded Romanski. “Rural development and broadband access are intricately linked, and I am pleased to join my colleagues across the country in highlighting these critical issues nationally.”

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. For more about NASDA and the annual meeting, visit https://www.nasda.org.