As the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) came to a close, NASDA Members voted to call on Congress to roll back the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and to support and allocate necessary resources for the development of State Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s).

The WOTUS rule, which is now being implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, dramatically expands federal jurisdiction of waters. Moreover, the agencies have failed to provide adequate outreach and education to NASDA Members and the entire regulated community.

“NASDA Members are at a critical nexus of both regulating and advocating for their state’s agriculture community. WOTUS deprives states of sovereignty over their water resources and excessively burdens state regulatory programs and farmers who are struggling to keep up with the increasingly demanding regulatory landscape. Congress must act swiftly to roll back this rule,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn.

Pollinator health, an issue of critical importance to state departments of agriculture, was also addressed. NASDA Members voted to urge the Administration and Congress to support and allocate the necessary resources for the state departments of agriculture to develop and implement State Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s). MP3s will enhance pollinator health and ensure growers, applicators, beekeepers, and other agricultural stakeholders are able to produce our nation’s food, fiber, and fuel in a productive and collaborative manner.

“MP3s work and they are a shining example of how collaboration among stakeholders can find a solution without the need for additional federal regulation. These plans provide a venue for each state to uniquely communicate and identify the various factors impacting honey bee health.”

NASDA Members also voted in favor of a full rewrite of the organization’s policy on endangered species, agriculture research, and rural development statements, updates to the grain inspection policy statement, and Action Items focused on the FSMA animal food rules, monarch listing under the Endangered Species Act, and the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI).

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 information about the 2015 NASDA Annual Meeting, visit www.nasda.org/2015.