Washington Ag & The Farm Bill
Agriculture has proven time and time again to be the one strong point of our state’s and our nation’s economy. Washington farmers and ranchers are some of the most productive in the world. That said, there’s need for a fiscally responsible farm bill that will ensure the success of our farmers and ranchers. WSDA Director, Dan Newhouse, talks about the state of agriculture in Washington.
NEWHOUSE: Agriculture in Washington is really doing quite well. We weathered the recessionary storm for the most part. Most parts of agriculture are seeing pretty good times. We’re not recession proof by any means, we’re having to deal with increased costs in our inputs and everything else. We’ve got a few other issues that are always challenging like labor and water, but for the most part commodity prices are strong, export markets are growing, even domestic markets are good. We’re a bright spot in our state’s economy. Agriculture is right there with everybody else in trying to make the case that we need to be able to survive and not be taxed too heavily and be able to still have a favorable business climate in this state.
The big question remains, will we even see a farm bill this year?
NEWHOUSE: There was a lot of momentum towards getting one. I shouldn’t say it was totally derailed but certainly there was some slow down. Sounds to me like there’s interest on parts of leadership on both sides to continue working, use what was put together last year as a foundation. I’m going back to Washington in about two weeks and that’s going to be one of the topics that we talk to our delegation about.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.