Farm Internship Bill

Farm Internship Bill

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The state Senate’s Labor and Commerce Committee unanimously passed legislation to help support the next generation of Washington farmers by expanding the state’s farm internship program.

Senator Nikki Torres’ says, with the average age of a Washington farmer is nearly 59, one of our most important challenges is the preservation of farming in Washington and making sure the next generation is ready to step up with knowledge of modern farming techniques, sustainability strategies and knowledge of how to run a successful farming business …

TORRES … “It basically expands it to all counties so that all of the farmers in all of the counties, because it was limited to only a handful of counties, can apply for this internship.”

The Pasco Republican, who represents the largely rural and agricultural 15th Legislative District, says the existing program was too limited …

TORRES ... “What we noticed from the last go-round was that there was quite a bit of interest, but unfortunately they weren’t able to apply for it.”

This expansion, Torres says is important …

TORRES … “It’s important because we want to see the continuation of farming and to pass it on to the next generation of what it’s like to farm and how to farm. And also, because we need that food supply as well. So, it’s going to be a very important piece to continue having this internship available.”

Under Substitute Senate Bill 5156, the farm internship program would be expanded to all counties and have no expiration date.

The bill now moves to the Rules Committee, the final stop before consideration by the full Senate.

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