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Importance of Agriculture
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Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: December 21, 2012

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On Wednesday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in D.C. on the importance and potential of agriculture in America, sighting what he sees as the four pillars of a new economy in rural America.

VILSACK: Exports and production agriculture fueled by increased productivity and research. Local and regional food systems creating and entrepreneurial and invasion attitude in rural America. Conservation being our stewardship responsibilities, but also expanding outdoor recreational opportunities, and this extraordinary engine of the biobased economy.

Vilsack also went on to say that agriculture and rural America are far more important than the majority of people realize.

VILSACK: It is the source of our food - accessible, affordable, food that gives us a more secure nation. It is the source of our water - 88% of our water that we consume is impacted and affected by what occurs in rural America. It is the source of an ever increasing amount of our fuel and energy. It is a job creator and it is the place where our values are rooted. The future of this country is linked to its past and the values that were created when this country was founded, and they are rural values.

With over 300 commodities produced commercially in the state agriculture is the cornerstone of Washington state’s economy. To put the value of agriculture into prospective for those living here in Washington, some 46 billion dollars are contributed to the state’s economy by the food and agriculture industry.


I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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