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Issues

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.