The Association has the resources, knowledge, and contacts to help introduce, modify, or eliminate legislation beyond the abilities of individual members. This is accomplished through the contractual services of registered lobbyists in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. FWAA regularly partners with Agricultural Coalitions to support or defeat proposed legislation which would help or adversely affect a favorable business environment. For example, during the 2009 legislative session, FWAA was able to get a law passed which exempts all Agribusiness from the commercial drivers license classroom course work (160 hrs) and employer certification requirements. In 2010, FWAA provided live testimony to oppose the elimination of the sales tax exemption on agricultural products and a tax increase on products listed as hazardous. Finally, the Association has an Executive Director that previously worked for the Executive Branch of an Administration at the Federal level.
The Association has the resources, knowledge, and contacts to work with regulators in order to make compliance less of a burden on the industry. The Association has the ability to obtain accurate information from the proper sources and then educate the members on compliance issues either internally or buy securing experts within the field and then setting up the venue for the transfer of timely information. The Association also develops contacts and professional relationships with State and Federal personnel to enhance a fast, efficient and accurate communication avenue.
3. Strength (in numbers)
150 businesses can do what 1 or 2 cannot. If an individual company has an issue but wishes to remain anonymous they may have their Association make inquires or pursue resolutions without identifying themselves risking reprisal. The Association can also extend greater influence through its use of sheer numbers which in turn influences political decisions.
Specialized training is often mandatory and hard to come by, and is always expensive. FWAA organizes and hires vendors to provide training at convenient locations during appropriate times of the year and at an affordable price. Through the use of a volunteer Safety and Regulatory Committee, the right training for the industry is targeted so our members are safe, well educated, and in compliance to avoid accidents and costly regulatory fees or fines.
FWAA provides many educational opportunities through its conferences and meetings where top-level industry experts share policy, industry, and economic issues as they develop. Your Association keeps you informed so that your decisions are based upon the latest and best information available. In addition, FWAA administers the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program organizing and inviting educators who provide the continuing education credits to over 500 CCA fieldmen in six states and one Canadian providence.
Although many of the FWAA members are competitors, many of them buy and sell amongst themselves. They all work within the same agricultural industry either providing services or products. The FWAA conferences and educational events provide networking opportunities where information can be shared and challenges addressed. Common links between different types of retailers and suppliers are acquired.
7. Exclusive Member Services
By being a member of FWAA, you are able to take advantage of specific “member only” services such as securing the services of the ASMARK Institute who assist in Federal compliance issues. In addition, as a member of FWAA and as an employer in Washington State you are eligible for the FWAA Retrospective Rating Program (RETRO) where your business may enter into a pool which will take out the spikes in your premiums and better manage accident-related incidents.
8. Linkage with National Industry Organizations
FWAA, like other Agribusiness Associations, communicates with National Organizations such as The Fertilizer Institute, Crop Life America and the Agricultural Retailers Association regarding issues affecting the industry. At least annually, these organizations and Agribusiness Associations from across the U.S. meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues and strategically prioritize them before making visits to members of Congress and Federal agencies. This initial contact begins the communication that is continued throughout the year.
9. Linkage with other State/Regional Agribusiness Associations
FWAA is but one of many Agribusiness Associations across the United States. Our Association is a part of the information sharing system. As situations develop in other parts of the country FWAA knows when they are happening and can either take the appropriate actions or inform members of what is happening. This person-to-person contact exists nowhere else on such a large and diverse scale.
10. FWAA is a Large Regional Organization with grass roots
Although FWAA’s physical footprint is Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada, the Association has seven (7) Committees whose chairpersons are appointed by the current President. They are formed through a resolution process identifying specific functions. These Committees are the pulse and heartbeat of the Association and advise the Board of Directors regarding policy and priorities for the Association.