Cantwell Participates In Yakima Roundtable Focuses on Ag Issues

By:  Glenn Vaagen
Source: Washington AG Network

Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington state Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison and a host of ag leaders from across the region met in Yakima Monday afternoon to discuss the current status of the ag industry.  No surprise, Farm Bill 2018 dominated a majority of the roundtable’s time.  Senator Cantwell said she has been pushing, and will continue to push Senate Ag leadership to get a Farm Bill on the books, sooner rather than later.  She said to let the current farm bill lapse without new legislation fails Northwest farmers

“When the Farm Bill current programs expire, and if they don’t have base level spending, you could leave in July and not come back until September and not have funding for those programs.  That level of uncertainty just should not happen to farmers who are doing their best to grow great products and reach great international markets creating jobs here at home.”

Cantwell stressed the ongoing research for Northwest crops is vital for the industry to grow and improve.  She added she’s confident the SNAP discussion that’s slowing down Farm Bill progress on the House side will impact the Senate.

“We can avoid that discussion because we have in the past, and we’ve reached compromises.  There’s no reason we should hold up a farm bill over a House debate about SNAP.  It’s just not fair.  We’re doing too well, to have our farm interests not decided and to move forward on predictability, now, this year.”