NASDA Member Spotlight: A Year in Review

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/19/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Greg Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Nebraska Director of Agriculture Greg Ibach. Director Ibach is currently serving NASDA as our 2015-2016 President and will be hosting our Annual Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I know how important it is to be connected in today’s age of technology and communication so the first thing I do when I wake up, sometimes even before I get out of bed, is grab my tablet and start scanning the top news and agriculture websites. I try to focus on the stories I know have the most impact on agriculture. By the time I am out of bed and getting that first cup of coffee I’m going through the myriad of emails all of us directors get each day.
       
    2. What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have young people at the table and in leadership roles?
      Fresh ideas and youthful enthusiasm. For those ...
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    Resource Added: 01/19/2016

    Latest Update: 01/19/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/23/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Mike Strain, Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain. Commissioner Strain is currently serving as NASDA's Vice President and will host the 2017 NASDA Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I start my day around 7:00 a.m. in my private office located at my Veterinary Hospital in Covington or my political office in Baton Rouge preparing for my 7:30 a.m. daily radio broadcast.  My radio broadcast consists of a statewide five day weather and rain forecast as well as the issues of the day.  The broadcast is usually 10 -12 minutes daily, is syndicated and available via podcast.  Next, I read and respond to critical emails and then drive to the Baton Rouge office or to whatever meeting I’m scheduled to attend.
       
    2. Who are your role models in agriculture?
      My role models in agriculture are Thomas ...
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    Resource Added: 02/23/2016

    Latest Update: 02/23/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/16/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Steve Reviczky, Connecticut Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Connecticut Commissioner of Agriculture Steven K. Revickzy. Commissioner Reviczky is currently serving as NASDA's Second Vice President and will host the 2018 NASDA Annual Meeting in Connecticut.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I am generally up and out around 5 a.m., either to the village gym or, depending on the season, clearing snow, tending to my gardens or tackling invasive plants – then I head to Hartford.
       
    2. What is the most rapidly expanding segment of agriculture or commodity in your state?
      New and beginning farmers. The latest USDA/NASS Census of Agriculture found that Connecticut had a 22-percent increase in total farms – the highest in New England. Much of that growth was in newer farmers, with a notable increase in farms run by women.
       
    3. What has been your most memorable experience as Connecticut ...
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    Resource Added: 02/16/2016

    Latest Update: 02/16/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 03/01/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Jeff Witte, New Mexico Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. Secretary Witte is currently serving as NASDA's Secretary-Treasurer and will host the 2019 NASDA Annual Meeting in New Mexico.

    1. How do you start your day?
      With a hearty breakfast -- best meal of the day!  My mind works better after eggs, bacon or sausage (my favorite is either homemade elk or oryx sausage if we had good luck with our hunts) and coffee.  If you pour a little New Mexico red chile sauce on top of the eggs, they are much better.  That will really fire you up for the day!  Every now and then, I actually find the time to get in a little exercise, but that is a challenge with the schedules I tend to agree to.  Review the morning news and out the door.
       
    2. What are some of the biggest challenges facing agriculture today?
      We have an aging agriculture ...
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    Resource Added: 03/01/2016

    Latest Update: 03/01/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/06/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Michigan Director of Agriculture & Rural Development Jamie Clover Adams.

    1. How do you start your day?
      My day starts with my “chores” – feeding our black lab, two indoor cats and our outside kitty.  Then it’s time for the news.  First, I listen to AgriPulse Daybreak.  It takes me back to working cattle listening to the local farm station on Dad’s dusty radio tied with binder twine to the center beam of the barn.  Then it’s a scan of the Wall Street Journal, the Detroit News and AgriPulse; then out the door for work with a homemade latte in my hand.
       
    2. What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have women at the table and in leadership roles?
      Differing experiences make for more robust conversation and durable decisions.  I believe women enrich the ...
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    Resource Added: 12/06/2016

    Latest Update: 12/13/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 11/22/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: LuAnn Adams, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Utah Commissioner of Agriculture LuAnn Adams.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I still live in the same little ranching community where my husband and I raised our family so I have to wake up at 4:30am in order to beat traffic and get to work in Salt Lake City every morning. Getting up so early isn’t difficult for me though, I’m used to it because I was raised on a farm and my family has been in the farming and ranching business all of my life. I am usually on the phone while driving to the office and almost always arrive by 6:30 or 7am. Once I arrive I spend about 30 minutes going through emails and getting ready for the day. Most days I spend in and out of meetings dealing with a wide variety of issues. It is a demanding schedule but I absolutely love what I’m doing.
       
    2. What do you think is missing from the conversation when ...
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    Resource Added: 11/22/2016

    Latest Update: 11/22/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 11/08/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is likely one of our youngest members in NASDA's 100-year history, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I start my day by waking up and checking a couple of work emails and the news for any important information I need to know for the day. Then I go on social media to see what’s driving the conversation that day and for any interesting pieces of news. After that, I drive from my house in Georgetown to my office in Frankfort, enjoying the beautiful drive through one of Kentucky’s best agricultural attractions, horse country.
       
    2. Rumor has it that you are the youngest statewide elected official in the United States. What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have young people at the table and in leadership roles?
      As a millennial, I think it is vitally ...
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    Resource Added: 11/08/2016

    Latest Update: 11/08/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 04/19/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: John McMillan, Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture John McMillan. Commissioner McMillan is currently serving on the NASDA Board of Directors as the Southern Regional Representative.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I wake up around 4:30 a.m. and go for a walk through my neighborhood. Afterwards, I eat breakfast and head to the office to check state and national news and plan my day before others arrive.
       
    2. What does being a NASDA member mean to you?
      Membership in NASDA is a valuable tool for our department. We get the benefit of effective representation in Washington and we also receive timely communications concerning federal programs and national public policy activities critical to agriculture stakeholders in Alabama.  NASDA meetings also provide networking opportunities with other state departments of agriculture that would not be possible without ...
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    Resource Added: 04/19/2016

    Latest Update: 04/19/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/17/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Jim Barbee, Nevada Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Nevada Director of Agriculture Jim Barbee. Director Barbee is currently serving on the NASDA Board of Directors as the Wester Regional Representative and as Vice Chair of NASDA's Animal Agriculture Committee.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I rise at 5am to cook breakfast and pack lunches for my wife, Heather, and our kids, Jack, Claire and Jameson.  Then I head to the office, which is an hour commute. This gives me the opportunity to organize my thoughts and make a few calls as the day gets underway.
       
    2. What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have young people at the table and in leadership roles?
      As a recovering high school agriculture teacher, I am driven to include a youthful perspective on our team as their creativity is a valued part of our final solution or plans. By including young folks in ...
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    Resource Added: 05/17/2016

    Latest Update: 05/17/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 10/12/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Gary Black, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.

    1. How do you start your day?
      The best days start with prayer time, a devotional and the Proverb chapter of the day. Since there are 31 chapters even I can't get mixed up. I have eight talented direct reports. We meet in a structured fashion each Monday.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      My wife Lydia and I live on the farm where I was raised. We have a small herd of Sim-Angus cattle. We produce bull prospects and show heifers.
       
    3. What is the most important function of your department/agency?
      Customer service. We believe strongly that without respect to the regulatory discipline - food safety, fuel and measures, animal/plant health - the customer experience must be exceptional, respectful and consistent at all times. This applies to a basic inquiry and an ...
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    Resource Added: 10/12/2016

    Latest Update: 10/12/2016

  • Carly  Grether Posted on 12/13/2016 by Carly Grether
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Secretary Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel Secretary Brancel at a recent event of the cutting of the White House Christmas tree. 

    1. How do you start your day?
    A trip to the barn checking on the activities of the farm. In the office, it varies. One day it is to check e-mails. Another day it will be employees of the agency waiting to talk with me. Another day it may be in a car heading to an event or a meeting where I’m scheduled to participate.

    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
    I am a 5th generation farmer. My grandparents had hogs, chickens and dairy. My grandma referred to the hogs as mortgage burners. My grandfather was involved in milk production testing programs from the very beginning and always had a highly rated herd.

    In 1994 we dispersed the dairy herd because of my increased legislative ...

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    Resource Added: 12/13/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 11/01/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown.

    1. How do you start your day?
      It depends on where I am. The farm is 2 ½ hours from the Department of Agriculture office in the Denver metro area.  If I’m on the farm, I wake up bright and early and I go over to my Mom’s for breakfast. I’ve done this every day since my dad was killed in a farming accident in 1993. During the week, I stay in Denver. I try to get to the office by 7am. Prior to that, I’m on the phone or on the computer checking in and taking care of farm business.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      The Brown Family Farm was homesteaded in Yuma, Colorado, 1911 and has been designated as a Centennial Farm. I’m a third generation farmer and rancher and have spent my entire life and career expanding our family farm and ...
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    Resource Added: 11/01/2016

    Latest Update: 11/01/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 03/29/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Chuck Ross, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross. Secretary Ross served as NASDA's President in 2013-2014 and is a chief advocate for NASDA's work on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

    1. How do you start your day?
      In the winter I start with a cup of coffee and a quick review of headlines.  In the summer, its also a cup of coffee and a walk to look at the garden.
       
    2. What does being a NASDA Member mean to you?
      NASDA represents a source of education, an amplification of my voice on national issues and network of supportive colleagues.
       
    3. What has been your most memorable experience as Vermont Secretary of Agriculture?
      Working with fellow Vermonters to respond to the devastation Hurricane Irene imposed upon Vermont.
       
    4. What is the most rapidly expanding sector of agriculture or commodity in your state?
      Maple ...
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    Resource Added: 03/29/2016

    Latest Update: 03/29/2016

  • Carly  Grether Posted on 11/29/2016 by Carly Grether
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Ron de Yong, Montana Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Montana Director of Agriculture Ron de Yong.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I begin each day catching up on the local and statewide news. The 7-block walk to my office allows time to assess, prioritize, and ask myself “What do I need to do to help Montana’s producers today?” Once I’m in the office I take a look at my calendar and make sure I have the materials I’ll need for meetings that day. For me, its important to not get bogged down in paperwork and office tasks so that I can remain focused on our Department’s mission: To protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I grew up on our family farm near Kalispell, just south of Glacier National Park, where we still have our home. I have always been ...
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    Resource Added: 11/29/2016

    Latest Update: 11/30/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/20/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: David Daniels, Ohio Department of Agriculture
    1. How do you start your day?
      As a lifelong farmer, my day starts early and it always includes coffee! I walk my dog before I get to the office (earlier than most) and get down to the business of the day. I also make time for Twitter; it’s the best way to find out what’s going on.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I grew up on a family farm near Greenfield, which is about an hour from both Cincinnati and Columbus. I was the fifth generation of the Douglass-Daniels family to raise grain and livestock on the same land that had been in our family for more than a century, earning our farm a designation as a Century farm in ODA’s Historic Family Farms program. Over the years, the operation I worked with my father and uncle evolved from one that raised corn, wheat, soybeans, chickens, hogs, sheep and dairy cows into a primary beef cattle cow and calf herd.
       
    3. What is the most unique career in agriculture that you have heard of?
      I think ...
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    Resource Added: 12/20/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 12/20/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Richard Fordyce, Missouri Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA started a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week we are featuring Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce and Ohio Director of Agriculture David Daniels.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I read the paper and drink black coffee.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I am a fourth-generation Missouri farmer from Bethany, Mo., and have been involved in production agriculture my entire life. I planted my first corn at 8 years old.


      I was named Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture in December 2013. I’ve held leadership roles in agriculture on the local, state and national levels for more than 20 years and have worked my entire life to move the agriculture industry to new heights.

      As Missouri's Director of Agriculture, I have set forth priorities to advance youth in agriculture, international trade, farm safety, consumer awareness and environmental stewardship.In ...
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    Resource Added: 12/20/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/07/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Doug Fisher, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher. Secretary Fisher is currently serving on the NASDA Board of Directors as the Northeastern Regional representative. Secretary Fisher has been a member of NASDA since 2009.

    1. How do you start your day?
      Every day starts with combing the media and speaking with personal contacts for information related to agriculture that might impact our work in the Department. That can be anything from the weather report (especially during our growing and harvesting season) to animal-disease outbreaks to school nutrition, and many other topics. Then it’s off to our state capital, Trenton, where our main Department offices are located. Once there, I’ll speak with our various Division Directors and other key staff to address any hot issues that must be dealt with that day or in the near future.
       
    2. ...
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    Resource Added: 06/07/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/27/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Joe Bartenfelder, Maryland Department of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I begin my day early working on the farm.  After breakfast, I shower and hit the road from Preston to Annapolis to begin my day as Secretary.  I end the day by working the farm.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I was born into farming and agriculture.  I’ve worked the family farm since I was a young boy, through college and my tenure in the State Legislature.
       
    3. What is the most important function of your department/agency?
      The most important function of our Department is protecting the welfare of Maryland’s citizens and ensuring the economic stability of farms in the state.
       
    4. What are some of the biggest challenges facing Maryland agriculture today?
      Educating the public, legislation and ...
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    Resource Added: 09/27/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

  • Rebecca Creighton Posted on 07/26/2016 by Rebecca Creighton
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Richard Ball, New York Commissioner of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is New York Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball.

    1. How do you start your day?
      My day on the farm starts at 5 in the morning. I’m usually the first one up and I head out with the dogs, then to the Carrot Barn and check the packing house and crew for the day.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I grew up surrounded by farming. My grandparents owned a dairy farm and my father spent his career working in the industry. I knew very early on that I wanted to be a farmer.  Early on, I pictured myself getting into the dairy business and hoped to take over my grandparent’s operation one day, but they sold it when I was about 10 years old. After graduating high school, I took a job working the fields on a commercial vegetable farm in Rhode Island. I like to say that was my college education in agriculture. I ...
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    Resource Added: 07/26/2016

    Latest Update: 12/20/2016

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