Work continues to address processing capacity issues


Work continues to address processing capacity issues

State departments of agriculture across the country are doing their part to help increase processing capacity.

When the coronavirus pandemic stressed the nation’s food supply chain, many state departments of agriculture stepped up to invest in local processors.  Ryan Quarles is president of NASDA and the Ag Commissioner in Kentucky. “A lot of states, including my own, decided to invest locally,” he says.  “That means putting millions of dollars into expanding local meat processing.  And in Kentucky, we used a combination of Tobacco Settlement Dollars with CARES Act funding.  And we’re hoping with NASDA’s help we can use some USDA money.”

He tells Brownfield NASDA will play a key role in those investments.  “Making sure that as many states as possible qualify for this,” he says.  “Sometimes we’ve got to make sure that program requirements allow for states to be eligible, and if they’re not we need to have conversations with USDA.  And that’s what we’ve done.”

Brownfield interviewed Quarles during NASDA’s annual conference this week in Louisville, KY. Hear more of our conversation below.

AUDIO: Ryan Quarles, president NASDA and Kentucky Ag Commissioner