On Friday, March 30, Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, joined U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, during the final stop on his “Farm Bill listening tour” in Yakima.
The U.S. Farm Bill is comprehensive legislation that sets federal government policies related to agriculture, ranging from farming, to trade and subsidies, to nutrition. The bill is typically reauthorized every five years, and its current version was last passed in 2014 and is set to expire in September.
Between March 27-30, Newhouse traveled to cities throughout Central Washington to seek input and hear concerns from those in the agricultural industry who will be affected by the 2018 legislation.
McCabe, who represents Washington’s 14th Legislative District, said farmers and other stakeholders expressed concerns over China’s trade tariffs, labor workforce shortages, and excessive regulations.
“There is uncertainty for many Washington farmers right now, and I commend Congressman Newhouse for seeking their input so he can help Congress draft legislation that will address some of these major concerns,” said McCabe. “Our food and agriculture industry is important to our economy — fueling 13 percent of the state’s economy and employing roughly 140,000 people. Whatever form this new version of the Farm Bill takes will have significant impacts on our farmers, our economy, and our way of life in many parts of Central and Eastern Washington.”
Details of the 2018 Farm Bill should be released sometime in April.