Washington’s farmers continue to feed the nation as they produce a wide variety of produce and value-added products. Agriculture is a key component of the economy of the 12th and we should be aware of the challenges farmers face in being competitive in the world marketplace. With all the variables that factor into food production, legislation must reflect a respect for the risks and unpredictable outcomes that farmers face.

Labor accounts for a majority of the expenses in raising a crop and the availability of laborers continues to be an issue. The State must not undermine the potential success of agricultural enterprises by imposing regulations that drive up the cost of growing the crops without a clear benefit. Many farmers are faced with transitioning out of the wholesale market and are marketing their farms for ag-tourism and additional non-farm activities. These land use conflicts must be considered in the context of maintaining our agricultural lands and allowing farmers to maximize their land for profit.

There have been many efficiencies achieved and we should embrace our farmers for their role in providing a consistent and affordable food supply.

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