Budget Concerns In Olympia Plus the Washington Oregon Potato Conference Begins

Budget Concerns In Olympia Plus the Washington Oregon Potato Conference Begins

The budget is the primary focus in Olympia right now and ag producers are hoping that legislators don’t go after tax breaks. Executive Director of The Washington State Dairy Federation, Jay Gordon, gives some insight into why those in the ag industry feel this way.

GORDON: Dairy production’s come up slowly from the 09, 10 recession and we’re starting to get back to where we were and actually growing a little bit. Exports are looking good and one of the concerns we’ve got is legislature is looking for money anywhere they can and our message has been don’t go after tax breaks. Adding some more tax load to what frankly is the bright spot in the economy, which is agriculture, is not what we want to be doing.

Dairy producers are not the only ones who would be affected.

GORDON: It doesn’t really matter whether it’s dairy, or apples, or wheat, or potatoes, or any of the crops; by and large farmers in this state managed to come out of this recession and we’ve got pretty good demand for our products. This is the wrong time to be hammering business and we need to find alternative solutions to just going in and piling more tax burden on.We want to keep these guys in business, and keep them making jobs, and keep them making products and growing demand for Washington product.

January 25th is Dairy Day at the Legislature. The Washington State Dairy Women Ambassador will speak on the senate floor to promote the dairy industry.

The 2012 Washington Oregon Potato Conference starts today in Tri-Cities Washington at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. Several industry topics will be addressed over the next three days including potato Mop-Top virus, a relatively new problem damaging potatoes in the Columbia Basin.

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

Previous ReportWashington Dairy Producers Face Challenges In 2012
Next ReportBiofuel Crops, Water, and Funding