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Agriculture, Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Forestry

We are the stewards of the land and water that sustains us. We must preserve family farms, strengthen rural communities, ensure the availability of high-quality food, and maintain the viability of land and water.

We call for:

  • Incentives to encourage the agricultural skills, careers, and lifestyles that are essential to our country’s survival;
  • Strengthening the Washington State Growth Management Act and policies that preserve agricultural land and natural resources critical to the viability of food, fuel, and forest production into the future;
  • Adoption of sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, fishery and forestry methods;
  • Decisions about water resources based on sound, credible scientific and economic information, including local concerns;
  • Improvement of agriculture and aquaculture through adequate public funding of research and extension efforts, including sustainable agriculture, small farms, and effects of climate change;
  • Reduction of the use of hazardous materials such as  pesticides and herbicides and increased safeguards for workers who may be exposed to them;
  • Improving the inspections of domestic and imported foods and livestock to ensure safe food and the humane treatment of livestock;
  • Clear food labeling, including date packaged, full and complete disclosure of nation of origin, genetically modified organism status, irradiation, and organic certification;
  • Supporting and encouraging vibrant and sustainable small farms, family farms and urban farms;
  • Strong organic farming standards;
  • Encouraging the use of locally grown food in our schools;
  • Farmers who do not grow genetically modified crops to be protected from liability and to have standing to recover their economic losses resulting from the drift of genetically modified materials;
  • Enforcement of antitrust laws that apply to agribusiness;
  • Review of and updates to all farm programs to ensure their effectiveness and benefit to family-size farms;
  • Sound rural infrastructure;
  • Action by the State of Washington to process the backlog of water rights applications and future applications to allow water resources to be responsibly allocated;
  • A guest worker program for agriculture, ensuring a reliable labor source while extending application of minimum wage laws and legal protections to the workforce and employers with proactive enforcement of violating employers;
  • Reduction of antibiotic use in livestock production;
  • Renewable energy production on farms;
  • Legalizing, regulating and recognizing industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

We oppose:

  • Use of edible products for the manufacture of bio-fuels (e. g., ethanol from maize);
  • Importing of commodities below their production and transportation costs.