The National Alfalfa Alliance (NAA) has been morphed into a new alfalfa organization to focus on legislative and regulatory issues as well as allow additional industry partners into its membership.

The recently formed National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance (NAFA) is a hybrid of NAaA, says NAA Executive Director Rod Christensen, Ag Management, Inc., Kennewick, WA.

NAFA allows forage groups and allied industries “significant membership” on its board of directors, Christensen adds. Its 18-member board includes equal representation from alfalfa seed growers and suppliers, state and regional hay and forage associations and allied industries.

It's an "umbrella" organization, Christensen says. "There is no intention of displacing any of the member organizations or any other organization currently established in the industry. NAFA will strive to work with existing organizations to achieve mutual goals and to avoid duplicity of efforts," he states.

Christensen and Beth Nelson of Beth C.W. Nelson & Associates, Inc., St. Paul, will administer NAFA. Nelson's primary focus will be legislative/regulatory matters. Christensen will coordinate all other administrative matters.

"Our mission is to ensure the ability of all segments of the industry to compete effectively and profitably, both domestically and abroad,” Christensen says. “Alfalfa and forages rank third in the U.S. in value of production and yet we've not had a single voice telling our story. NAFA is dedicated to doing so."

Any U.S. individual or entity that actively grows, produces, handles, processes or buys hay, haylage or alfalfa seed in the U.S., or supplies goods or commercial services to producers, may join. The www.alfalfa.org Web site, which is being rebuilt, will provide information, bulletins and updates on NAFA activities. The popular Alfalfa Intensive Training Seminars will continue; the next seminar will take place Oct. 24-26 in Las Vegas.

The annual Fall Dormancy and Pest Resistance Ratings for Alfalfa will also continue. Publication of the 2006-2007 issue is expected in mid-September.

For more on NAFA and on becoming a member, call 509-585-5460, fax 509-585-2671 or email agmgt@agmgt.com.