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Published: Friday, November 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Congress


Our state needs farm bill passed

Washington state needs to tell Congress that it's time to pass a farm bill. Despite what most people think, the farm bill is actually a "nutrition bill," aimed at delivering food to the most needy. It's also an important source of funding for agriculture research and higher education in Washington state.
Potato farmers, like all other fruit and vegetable farmers in our state, don't receive direct payment subsides. Their needs are for strategic government investments in research. Research that will help them grow more food using fewer resources. This cutting edge research and technology keeps Washington farmers competitive in a global economy, expands exports, and protects the number one job provider in this state. Just our 300 potato farmers alone are responsible for over 23,000 jobs and over $4.6 billion in economic activity.
Passing the Senate or House Ag Committee version of the farm bill will also trim the federal deficit by $23-$35 billion. Time is running out. Let's feed the hungry, reduce the deficit, expand exports, and protect our jobs. Congress must pass a farm bill during this lame duck session.

Chris Voigt
Executive Director
Washington State Potato Commission
Moses Lake
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.