Livestock Water Pollution Case & Assisted Export Sales
In 2003 Department of Ecology officials issued an order that required Joe Lemire to fence off a stream that runs through his property in southeastern Washington. The reason - to keep his cattle from going near it, and potentially polluting the water. That action has prompted an ongoing legal battle between Lemire and the DOE. On Tuesday the case was heard before the Washington Supreme Court, which is expected to decide whether that requirement constitutes a “taking” of private property. Lemire is supported in his defense by fellow ranchers, as well as state and county Farm Bureaus, and says that the rights of all landowners across the state are at stake, and if he loses, they all lose.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce have announced that for Fiscal Year 2012 Washington had sales of $198.2 million from state export assistance. In fact, four percent of Washington companies are engaged in exporting today - four times the national average. WSDA Director Dan Newhouse comments.
NEWHOUSE: We are the most trade active state, agriculturally speaking, one of the most trade dependent states in the country. Those foreign markets are huge for us.
The WSDA and Commerce both offer state programs that provide small and medium-sized businesses with export training and counseling, facilitate international trade show and trade mission participation, and assist with trading partner and market introductions. Over one thousand new-to-export companies have been assisted by Commerce, WSDA, and the Community Economic Revitalization Board’s export training programs since the launching of the Washington Export Initiative in 2011.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network.