October is the month when most businesses and organizations determine their budgets which is an estimate of both revenue and expenses. This year, the agricultural economy has softened due to commodity prices and uncertainty in trade which has caused an overall pull back for some agricultural producers. Having just returned from both a regional agribusiness meeting in which Far West is one of four and the CropLife America Government Affairs weekend meeting, membership dues were discussed both within the meetings and during the breaks. Consolidation and demands for greater efficiencies have affected all aspects of revenue availability. Yet at the grass roots level the need to counteract NGO, activists and social media agenda’s have never required so much attention to counter the emotion with facts as they relate to science proven data. Our world is changing. Many parts of our society are more interested in how information makes them feel rather than the reality of the real-world. They want their information in a story as opposed to a spread sheet or a defendable analysis.
Who better to adapt and fulfill the need than the trade association that operates at both the regional and the local levels? Who better to set the record straight by telling the story of our members who work hard to mine or manufacture the crop inputs, apply the science to determine what’s needed, and determine when to apply the products along with the proper method and concentration? Shaving budgets requires tough business decisions and the temptation of a short-term gain can be costly in the long run. New laws that adversely affect net income for many years to come is often an expense that could have been avoided and is avoided when you collectively join with others within your industry to support opposition. The work that Far West does in any one of its five states regionally prevents an issue from poisoning an adjoining state and actually increases our efficiency. Here are but a few of our most recent accomplishments:
- We first passed the Ag Exemption for FIFRA products stored in Washington State, then sold into surrounding states thus correcting the market driven storage locations closer to the where it is used. Second, in this year’s session we got the sunset date removed so it is now permanent.
- We expanded the 10-month hours of services exemption from 10 months to 12 months in Washington State.
- We obtained an agribusiness exemption for the classroom portion of a CDL licensing requirement in Washington State.
- We obtained a special DOT permit for oversized and over length tender trucks in Oregon State.
- For the fourth consecutive year we fought back the minimum crew size on certain hazardous trains in Washington State.
- We successfully opposed the ban on Chlorpyrifos and Neonicotinoids in Oregon State.
- We interrupted the passage of numerous Bills that would have resulted in a carbon tax within various states along with other climate change proposed legislation.
- We successfully petitioned WA State DOE to remove Ammonium Sulfate from the State Toxic Air Pollutant list and are in the process of doing the same in Oregon. Not only does this correct a wrong but it stops a dangerous precedent from occurring.
Your company needs an advocate for you and Far West has been that entity for the past 60 years. We will continue to do so while working with agencies regarding regulation and enforcement. Each company who is in it for the long haul needs Far West and in turn Far West must have the support of its members.
Please budget in your membership dues now and if you are fortunate enough to have a surplus this year, contact us and pay in advance. Like you, are costs are increasing and cash flow is tight so please drop us a note and let us know that we can count on you in 2020. We would be happy to invoice you at the time that works best for you in the months to come.
Thank you in advance for the past 60-years and please allow us to continue to serve you in the year 2020.