Standing room only at Farm Hall meeting

Standing room only at Farm Hall meeting

The Farm Hall meeting held at The Reach in Richland gave the public a chance to share the message of what farming is and does.

“We feel like we’re getting pushed by urban areas,” says Ed Zurcher of Zurcher Dairy.

A major topic on the minds of farmers is the issue of limiting water access in rural areas.

Ed Zurcher of Zurcher Dairy says he’s concerned about water use, availability, and the overall need for water to feed the rest of Washington State.

“Go back in history! What did this country look like in the 1940’s before irrigation came? It was desert you know so it would return back to that so it’s a big concern,” says Zurcher.

As he explains, without water this could impact our food system, lose jobs, and hurt the economy.

“It’s critically important that we listen to farmers and what they’re facing because the more regulatory burdens we put on farmers the fewer and fewer family farms we’re going to have,” says Senator Sharon Brown of Washington State.

Another hot topic on these farmer’s minds: Labor cost going up.

“Not many farm employees make minimum wage they make higher than minimum wage but the effect of raising minimum wage will raise the wages we’re paying now,” says farmer Steve Cooper of Basin City.

Other topics addressed included how to educate the general public about agricultural concerns.

The Farm Hall endeavor also aims to get feedback from the farming and agriculture community before the legislative session starts in January.

The Farm Hall meeting held at The Reach in Richland gave the public a chance to share the message of what farming is and does.

“We feel like we’re getting pushed by urban areas,” says Ed Zurcher of Zurcher Dairy. A major topic on the minds of farmers is the issue of limiting water access in rural areas.

Ed Zurcher of Zurcher Dairy says he’s concerned about water use, availability, and the overall need for water to feed the rest of Washington State.

“Go back in history! What did this country look like in the 1940’s before irrigation came? It was desert you know so it would return back to that so it’s a big concern,” says Zurcher.

As he explains, without water this could impact our food system, lose jobs, and hurt the economy.

“It’s critically important that we listen to farmers and what they’re facing because the more regulatory burdens we put on farmers the fewer and fewer family farms we’re going to have,” says Senator Sharon Brown of Washington State.

Another hot topic on these farmer’s minds: Labor cost going up.

“Not many farm employees make minimum wage they make higher than minimum wage but the effect of raising minimum wage will raise the wages we’re paying now,” says farmer Steve Cooper of Basin City.

Other topics addressed included how to educate the general public about agricultural concerns.

The Farm Hall endeavor also aims to get feedback from the farming and agriculture community before the legislative session starts in January.