With another legislative session around the corner in Olympia, many in the farming community are prepared for legislation attacking their industry. Colfax Representative Joe Schmick said the Ag industry was targeted during the 2019 session in a variety of ways, and he’s concerned the same anti-farming sentiment will return in the short legislative session. He said the non-farming community needs to understand that producers are price takers, not price makers, and additional taxes and regulation do little more than cut into the bottom line.
Schmick added urban voters and lawmakers don’t understand the role Washington Ag plays in the state’s economy and more.
“So it is very important for us representing the rural areas that we continue to talk about that, and the importance and safety of the food that we grow, for not only our families, but also for people who live in the state of Washington, and elsewhere.”
In addition to standing up to burdensome taxes and regulations, Schmick says the farming community needs to stand up to those that accuse growers of poising consumers, the environment and more. He said the best way to address this false narrative is with sound science.
“We do not want to put a product out and use it that isn’t safe. For the safety of ourselves, and of our workers. Especially our workers. We don’t want to put them in a bad position, because every grower that hires help they need that help….boy, these products go through all kinds of testing, they are very safe, and we just need to keep talking about that.”
Schmick said whether from a rural community or an urban setting, its important lawmakers remember the moto “Do No Harm” during the 2020 session.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]