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UA College Of Agriculture Dean Joins Letter In Support Of NAFTA Agriculture Policies

University of Arizona farm
(Photo courtesy of Douglas Carroll - University of Arizona)
The University of Arizona farm on Campbell Avenue in Tucson.

Conversations to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began this week. 

The dean of University of Arizona's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (UA CALS) joined more than 50 other public university leaders in a letter to the U.S. secretaries of commerce and
agriculture.

The letter details how NAFTA quadrupled American agriculture exports to Canada and Mexico. It says all of the agriculture college deans quote strongly support the continued robust export of U.S. farm products under NAFTA.

UA CALS Dean Shane Burgess said Arizona, being a border state, benefits a lot from NAFTA.

"Every time a good or a service or a person moves across that border, money falls off. And it's contributing to these local economies," said Burgess.

The letter says agriculture exports are critical to rural America.

"And all of the gains we've made in not just exports but in food safety, in regulations, in environmental protection and using science as a basis for decision-making — all of those gains would go away along with the economic gains," Burgess said.

Burgess, and the letter, says U.S. agriculture  exports flourished under NAFTA.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.