The Washington state Potato Commission and other agriculture outlets held their legislative tour in the Yakima Valley a few weeks ago. Potato Commission executive Director Chris Voigt said the all day event allowed farmers to reach out to a legislature dominated by urban city centers.
“That’s where a lot of the representation comes from and what we’ve always been concerned about in agriculture is activist groups coming in and talking to these urban legislators about what agriculture is doing and really putting out a lot of misinformation out there, and then us getting regulated out of business.”
Voigt said not only did they show lawmakers where potatoes, tree fruit, wheat and other commodities were grown, but they had an opportunity to discuss some of the most pressing issues impacting agriculture today, such as labor, carbon taxes, irrigation and more. Voigt said while he feels this year’s tour was a success, there are still areas he feel they can improve.
“Make and even much stronger connection between food and agriculture, you what in the future I think we’ll really try to do, is having a food talk at every stop, and to some degree we did that during this last tour, but we want to do it even more going forward, but really make that connection of you like all of this great food, it doesn’t just magically show up in the grocery stores.”
Voigt added it’s important for the farming community to tell its story, rather than wait for someone else to control the narrative.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail email@example.com