While Far West has a number of partners in our five-state area, perhaps some of the more meaningful are located in and near our office in Spokane. Over the years our membership and participation in the Agribusiness Council, a part of Greater Spokane Incorporated, has raised us to a position on the GSI Public Policy Council that directly reports to the board of directors. Representing the agricultural interests at the policy table with many other businesses and industries allows us to contribute and influence others which increases our effectiveness.
During the Washington Association of Business meeting yesterday, Public Policy Principals were reviewed and discussed resulting in a decision for the GSI Public Policy Council to work on and eventually adopt its own set of Policy Principals. This created a great opportunity for agriculture by reinforcing the idea of how our industry can combine efforts to gain a greater influence over what occurs in our various states. We do have members who have gained access to similar business-minded groups and have made significant contributions. When it comes to such subjects as carbon tax proposals in both Washington and Oregon, it’s important for business to band together, discuss common interests by contributing information regarding the effects of public policy. These joint efforts also create a bond between our respective lobbyists to assist us in achieving our objectives. Even subjects not addressed by a more urban based population, can be shared through an education process. These subjects include biologicals, gene editing and slicing, how agriculture uses the 4-R principles and how soil health is being advanced. The more obvious subjects are related to pesticide application and uses, fertilizer products and the advancement of variable rate application supported by yield data. Business wants to learn from business so we encourage your involvement in a wide array of community-based organizations that will allow us to leverage our influence.
If you have specific questions about how you may do so please feel free to contact the FWAA office and we would be glad to assist.