Nearly 100 people gathered in Pasco Thursday for the 2019 Tri-Cities Farm Hall, hosted by the Washington Policy Center. Pam Lewison, Agriculture Research Director at WPC, applauded the audience participation, adding the forum allowed those who cannot travel to Olympia during the legislative session an opportunity to get engaged.
“And it gives them an opportunity to talk about policy, in a way that feels a little bit more personal, I think it’s sort of living room policy discussion, and it gives them a chance to thing about policy that is in their backyard, and Ag in particular. Because I think a lot of times, Ag policy gets lost in the shuffle.”
With the Farm Hall over and done, Lewison said farmer engagement in policy cannot come to and end. She said with the direction the state of Washington is moving, and some of the legislative priorities from the non-Ag community in Olympia, it’s vital farmers carve time out of their busy schedule to ensure the industry is represented.
“Policy decisions get made whether you participate or not, and those decisions to affect you. You have to make a concerted effort to be part of that discussion, because at the end of the day, that decision is going to be made with or without you, and you’re going to have to live with the consequences of it.”
On this year’s legislative panel, state Representative Tom Dent, state Senators Phil Fortunato and Judy Warnick. Warnick, along with fellow senator Sharon Brown started the Farm Hall series four years.
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