2013 Policy Platform

What policy issues will Tilth Producers of Washington be working on this year? These ones!

Download a PDF of the 2013 Policy Platform here.

Tilth Producers of Washington

2013 Policy Platform 

Local Food System Development: Budget Support for WSDA Farm-to-Market, Farm Bill

The budget for WSDA’s domestic marketing program, which helps connect small farms to markets via technical support navigating regulations on farm-to-school, marketing, and food safety, was completely eliminated in 2011. Tilth Producers has joined the Good Food Coalition in an effort to advocate for general funds to re-establish funding for these “farm-to-market” services. We will also continue to advocate for Farm Bill policies which strengthen local food systems if Farm Bill negotiations continue into the new year.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): State GMO Labeling Bill

We will support efforts to pass a bill requiring labeling of GMO foods in Washington State this year. This bill will be introduced either through I-522, Citizen’s Initiative to the Legislature, or will be brought to the floor from the agriculture committee, as failed to happen in 2012.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: Small Farm Internship Pilot Program, Farm Bill

Tilth Producers supports policies which make it easier for new people to start farming. We will continue to support efforts to continue and expand the small farm internship pilot program which gives small farms access to Labor and Industries (L&I) insurance for their interns (the program was established in 2010 but was not continued by the legislature last year). We will also advocate for beginning farmer programs in the Farm Bill.

Farmland Preservation: Full Funding for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to Ensure Funds for Farmland Preservation

Tilth Producers is committed to working alongside federal, state, and local leaders and communities to shape legislation and implement policies that keep farmers on their land and make land accessible to new farmers. This year we will support the American Farmland Trust in an effort to ensure funds for farmland preservation are protected by fully funding the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

Research and Education: Support for Sustainable Agriculture at WSU, Farm Bill

Our state is a leader in organic agriculture education. We will continue to support policies which enable Washington State University and its partners to continue to prioritize offering curriculum and extension programs which promote sustainable agriculture practices. This entails working directly with WSU and supporting relevant Farm Bill programs.

Access to Fresh Food for Children, Seniors and Institutions: Food Procurement Policy for all State Agencies, Farmers Market Nutrition Programs

This year we will engage with an effort to pass a state bill establishing a food procurement policy for state agencies which would encourage purchasing WA-grown, healthy food. This bill would act as a model for non-governmental agencies to use as well. We will also help ensure that the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, whose funding was nearly cut last year, maintain their place in this year’s budget.

Tilth Producers welcomes your participation and input on policy matters.

To join our efforts or express your opinion, please contact:

Ariana Taylor Stanley at ariana@tilthproducers.org

Anne Schwartz at als@fidalgo.net or 360-853-8449