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