Mathison Testifies Before Congress

Mathison Testifies Before Congress

Mathison Testifies Before Congress. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

West Mathison with Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee recently testified before a joint congressional hearing on the ESA and pesticides and salmon and the consultation process.

MATHISON: Our family and our company had developed a program called Responsible Choice and our mantra is to enrich the soils where we live, work and play. This culture has led us in partnership with our independent growers to being the largest grower of organic tree fruit in the U.S. Humbly speaking I feel our many awards around food safety and environmental stewardship speak for themselves.

Mathison says that while many people know Washington for Starbucks, Microsoft and Boeing it’s the long list of ag commodities that people need to recognize.

MATHISON: In Washington, agriculture production is valued at $9.5 billion dollars creating 82-thousand permanent jobs with $1.5 billion dollars in wages, $2.2 in proprietor income and $16 billion in total economic impact annually. The tree fruit industry alone exceeds 25% of this number seasonally. Seasonal workers add another 100-thousand jobs for pears, apples and cherries.

He states that only 2% of the apples grown in the state are actually consumed in the state.

MATHISON: It is not surprising that we depend on both domestic and export markets insomuch as we export 30% of our apples and cherries.

More on West Mathison’s congressional testimony tomorrow.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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