Senator Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside was selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree next month during the 91st FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. The award is given to Individuals who have provided exceptional service on a national level to agriculture, agricultural education, or FFA.
According to FFA, the Honorary American FFA Degree is…an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond the valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students.
“It’s always an honor to receive an award, but I’m particularly pleased by this one,” said Honeyford, who serves on the Washington State Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee. “I am so proud of the kids in our state who participate in this great organization, and it has been my privilege to support their efforts and commitment to agricultural education and public service.
“Working on our state’s farm, ranch and agricultural issues is one of my highest priorities, so it’s truly rewarding to receive this recognition from both the state and national FFA.”
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of more than 523,000 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.
Nominations for the Honorary American FFA Degree must be sent to the individual’s state FFA Association for approval. State staff forwards all approved nominations to the National FFA Board, which makes the final decision on recipients.
According to FFA, the Honorary American FFA Degree is “an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond the valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists.”
Honeyford, who owned and operated a small family farm for 25 years, has been one the Legislature’s leading advocates on water and agriculture issues, and plans to continue those efforts if voters send him back to Olympia in January.
Jim Honeyford has been recognized throughout his career for his work to support Washington’s agricultural community. This includes legislation he sponsored to increase water access for farmers and increase collaboration in our state’s food safety system.
He knows that it can be hard for farmers – especially those with small family farms – to adjust to new and changing federal regulations. Thanks to legislation Honeyford introduced and fought for this year, local inspectors can now help farmers meet their regulatory obligations, instead of just focusing on punishment.
Honeyford also lead the fight for a solution to the disastrous supreme court decision in the Hirst case, which restricted access to well water and was crippling rural economic development.
The Senate passed a fix to give rural Washingtonians access to water four times, but the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives refused to act. Honeyford made clear that there would be no capital budget until a solution to Hirst was adopted. Hirst comes first, he said, noting that it was unfair for the state to continue building, while rural property owners could not. In the end, Honeyford helped successfully shepherd both a pro-agriculture capital budget and Hirst fix to passage.
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