Our diverse agriculture industry, driven by farmers and ranchers across Washington state, supports 164,000 jobs and more than $10.5 billion in agriculture production. Washington state is also the third largest exporter of food and agricultural products in the nation, with exports totaling $7 billion annually.
That’s why I fight for policies and programs that support farming and ranching families and help us to compete in international markets. I’ve worked to expand the Market Access Program which helps farmers gain access to consumers in emerging markets like India and China, and crop insurance to help families weather natural disasters and catastrophic crop loss.
I’ve fought for agricultural research funding to help address falling numbers in wheat; added peas and lentils into our national school lunch program; expanded research and development funding for specialty crops; and backed increased funding for the National Clean Plant Network that helps keep plants virus free.
I’ve also supported funding for Washington State University’s agriculture extension network, conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program, and rural development programs that support housing and other important economic investments in farm communities across our state.
I’ve also been vigilant against unfair trading practices and have worked with our growers to hold our trading partners accountable. A new trade enforcement trust fund that I helped create will help provide dedicated funding to enforce trade agreements. I will fight to ensure that Washington’s farms, ranches and other export-dependent businesses do not turn into collateral damage.