Ag Leaders From Across the Nation Convene in Burlington to Advance Ag Literacy

NASDA Contact:
Amanda Bryant
(202) 296-9680      

Vermont Contact:
Alison Kosakowski
(802) 272-4547                                                         

Ag Leaders From Across the Nation Convene in Burlington to Advance Ag Literacy
Vermont will Host National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Annual Conference

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) will convene for their annual conference this week in Burlington.

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.

Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Chuck Ross, currently serves as the President of NASDA. Under Ross’s direction, the theme of this year’s annual conference is “Ag Literacy.”

“We are in the midst of a pivotal period for American Agriculture,” Ross said. “Culturally, Americans are growing ever more interested in food and fiber. And yet, less than 2% of the population makes a living farming or ranching. “

“Given this divide, the opportunity for misunderstanding is immense,” he continued. “As agricultural leaders, it is our role to bridge this gap, to set aside differences, and to seek out common ground. We must work together to create a culture of what I like to refer to as ‘Ag Literacy,’ an appreciation and understanding of where food and fiber comes from, and how farming and ranching work.”

Dr. Barbara Glenn, the newly appointed CEO of NASDA, will use this theme to drive the legislative and regulatory efforts of NASDA in the coming year.

“NASDA members are not only the chief regulators of agriculture, but are more importantly the chief advocates for agriculture in the states. NASDA will continue this theme of agriculture literacy as we drive the development of informed ag policy at the federal level," said Glenn.

The conference will begin with an Opening Plenary Session, titled “Creating a Culture of Ag Literacy.” Secretary Ross will moderate a discussion featuring the following food system leaders:

  • Charlie Arnot, CEO, The Center for Food Integrity
  • Gary Hirshberg, Co-Chair, AGree
  • Jim Moseley, Co-Chair, AGree
  • Jean Richardson, Chair, National Organic Standards Board

The Opening Plenary Session will be held Thursday, September 11 from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM in the Adirondack Ballroom at the Hilton Burlington Hotel. 

For more information about the 2014 Annual Meeting, visit Please Note: The Plenary Session will be open to media attendees. More information about press can be found here.