Growers bring taste of Washington to D.C.

For the past few days, wheat industry representatives have been in Washington, D.C., to take part in the annual Taste of Washington fly-in with Washington State University, the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and other commodity groups. The Taste of Washington event spotlights Washington-grown products and promotes Washington agriculture to members of Congress.

As part of that trip, wheat growers met with many members of the state’s Congressional delegation to discuss the Washington Association of Wheat Growers’ (WAWG) national legislative priorities, which were reviewed during the September board meeting. They also met with staffers from the Senate Agriculture Committee

WAWG’s national priorities include:

• Protecting our markets by purchasing U.S. wheat for U.S. food aid programs; the negotiation of additional trade agreements and full implementation and enforcement of existing trade agreements; and continued and increased strong federal funding through MAP and FMD to maintain the progress achieved with Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funds.

• Preserving food security by supporting future farm bills to continue to offer agriculture and nutrition support programs; maintaining the current structure of the crop insurance program and current cost-share levels; reauthorization of the farm bill and to make necessary adjustments to PLC and ARC so they can function effectively; and prioritizing working lands conservation programs in the conservation title of the farm bill.

• Protecting our environment through sustainable practices that are voluntary, incentive-based and recognize the unique and varied landscapes and climates of wheat production.

• Promoting and protecting our infrastructure by keeping the lower Snake River dams intact; funding to maintain and improve Washington road, river and rail systems; and immediate action regarding the Columbia River Treaty.

• Protecting food systems with safe and innovative pesticides.