Agriculture and family farms are an important part of the economy and character of the Second District. Whether it’s dairy operations in Whatcom County, seed farms in the Skagit Valley, exports headed out of the Port of Bellingham, or a farmers’ market on the San Juan Island, agriculture is the economic engine of Northwest Washington. As a former member of the House Agriculture Committee, I know how important research and crop insurance programs are to farmers in our state.
I support a comprehensive and robust Farm Bill that promotes Washington agriculture, protects working families, encourages rural development, invests in conservation, and streamlines commodity insurance programs to save tax dollars. Many of these goals were met in the Senate Farm Bill, which passed earlier this year by a wide margin. I am disappointed that the House of Representatives has yet to take up a Farm Bill and I have been active in calling on my colleagues to move to such consideration as quickly as possible.
- Helped create the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and Special Crop Block Grants, which help fund projects to advance the unique berry, fruit, seed and vegetable industries in Washington state.
- Pushed to find funding for the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research, which works to enhance the sustainability and profitability for the berry, grape, and wine industries.
- Supported legislation to create stability in dairy markets for NW dairy farmers.
- Championed strong provisions for agriculture in free trade deals, and encouraged the inclusion of provisions to loosen limits for US exports abroad.
- Cosponsored AGJOBS legislation that would create a long-term solution for agricultural labor needs in the US.