Washington Ag November 22, 2005 Delegates to the Washington Farm Bureau annual meeting last week unanimously elected Steve Appel, a wheat and barley grower from Whitman County, to a 12th consecutive one-year term as president. Appel, a third-generation farmer, is also vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. During his annual address, Appel summarized Farm Bureau accomplishments this past year like passage of legislation to recover damages in nuisance lawsuits against farmers and ranchers, employer notification of workplace injuries and defeat of "Get Retro" legislation. But looking ahead, Appel said in 2006, the Farm Bureau's property rights initiative is going to be the big issue.
Appel: "And when the legislature and the courts can't or won't protect our property rights then we are going to have to protect them ourselves. Our initiative will serve to protect private property rights and it will serve to ensure the future of farming in Washington."
Farm Bureau delegates also re-elected Robyn Meenach of Spokane County vice president for legislation and Dean Farrens of Walla Walla County as vice president for policy development.
Washington farmers already grow some of the finest wine grapes in the world and Washington State University professor Carter Clay says they may also be able to produce quality raisins. Clay, who has two small plots of raisin grapes planted outside Walla Walla, says Washington would probably never produce more raisins than California , but might be able to grow better ones.
I'm Bob Hoff.