Perhaps more than ever, the future of our Washington family farms depends on the 2020 election. Covid-19 highlighted to many in our cities that having local and state farms is very important for food security. State leadership can and will make a huge difference in whether or not our family farms can survive and thrive.
Save Family Farming has issued five “farm friendly” policies. We strongly encourage everyone concerned about our farms to download the pdf, share it far and wide and ask you favorite candidates to sign on to support these policies. “Grassroots” is a word farmers can relate to. Farmers desperately need this grassroots effort to result in a state that is more friendly to farmers.
Policy 1: Protect farmworkers and their jobs.
This means rejecting the efforts by some to prevent guest workers from working on our farms. Our farms already pay the highest farm wages in the nation and farmworkers are protected by rules that exceed those for any other category of worker. These jobs are life-changing and farmworkers want these opportunities to continue and expand. Farmworkers must be protected against those seeking to take advantage of them for personal gain.
Policy 2: Protect fish and farms.
Fish recovery and farmland protection go hand in hand. Take away our farms and in the Puget Sound region much of the land will go to urban development that harms fish. State leaders must protect existing water rights and access to water for fish and farms. Efforts to send water rights to the courts must be stopped for the sake of fish and farms.
Policy 3: Defend state pollution permits.
Out-of-state attorneys are wreaking havoc on the state’s family farms through citizen lawsuits that would not be allowed if the state defended its own pollution permit. State leaders need to step and up and protect their authority rather than allow attorneys with an anti-farm agenda to rewrite the laws.
Policy 4: Protect public safety by following wildlife management rules.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to take stronger action against improperly imported elk in the Skagit river valley that threaten schools, school children, citizens and farms.
Policy 5: Listen to farmers, not just anti-farm activists.
Policy decisions need to take into consideration a variety of perspectives, but farm voices have been left out of too many policy discussions.
Save Family Farming does not endorse candidates. But we encourage all those interested in the future of our farms to know where their favored candidates stand on these farm friendly issues and vote accordingly.