DelBene and Larsen Introduce Legislation to Invest in Small Fruit Research

Washington, D.C.Today, Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) introduced legislation that would amend the Specialty Crop Research Initiative to provide $2.5 million annually to support research for berry and grape crops.

“Agriculture is a vital, thriving part of Washington state’s economy. The First Congressional District has more than 4,000 farms that supply restaurants, markets and our local communities. My bill gives small fruit farmers the resources they need to develop and implement new methods and strategies to remain competitive and continue sustaining our local communities. This small investment in our farmers will yield a plentiful bounty for the future,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.

“I have heard from folks across Washington’s Second District about the importance of research into small fruits to ensure the vitality of these important crops into the future,” said Larsen. “Providing funds to support this research will help ensure Washington state specialty crop farmers, like the berry farmers in Skagit County, have the tools they need to foster future innovation and prosperity for small fruits in Northwest Washington.”

“The Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research welcomes and appreciates the efforts of Congresswoman DelBene and Congressman Larsen in supporting berry, grape and wine research funding through the Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI). Production research, food science, pest and disease management are critical keys to our continued viability and competitiveness in the global market. As a research consortium dedicated to enhancing the sustainability and profitability of our industries, her advocacy on behalf of the Center is greatly valued by our stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest,” said Philip Gütt, Program Coordinator for the NW Small Fruits Industry Consortium.