FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(MAR. 17, 2017)
Contact: Kent Wright, 509-435-3590
WASHINGTON STATE (MAR. 17, 2017) – Northwest Farmers Union (NWFU) represents farmers and ranchers throughout Washington, Idaho and Oregon. When issues important to their members arise NWFU members take action. A need arose today centered around the Washington state beef checkoff and NWFU members drove to Olympia to testify in opposition to proposed legislation.
NWFU President Kent Wright spoke out saying, “We have held numerous producer meetings where cattle producers from our membership and those not involved in NWFU were present and an overwhelming majority spoke out against raising the beef checkoff.”
NWFU has been very vocal on the beef checkoff proposals in Washington state and have involved many state officials including Representative Tom Dent and Senator Judy Warnick; who have both been very vocal on the issue as well. NWFU policy in regards to the beef checkoff as well as other issues pertinent to its’ members can be found at their website www.nwfu.org
Northwest Farmers Union member Mark Ellis an area producer and businessman from Moses Lake, Washington was one who testified in Olympia and added, “We need to address the shortfall of where the funds are coming from because we have the largest slaughter numbers in the Northwest, but the smallest cow-calf numbers and that doesn’t seem right.”
According to a status and outlook annual report put out by the Washington State University School of Economic Sciences in 2016 the inventory of beef cattle versus those that are fed and/or slaughtered in Washington state is quite drastic. It would seem that the state checkoff should be well funded if it is collecting checkoff dollars on all cattle coming across and into Washington state. It has been a long standing question mark for ranchers and ag producers, who watch cattle shipping trucks and trailers coming from Canada to be processed at one of Washington’s various processing facilities, on whether or not all the cattle coming across the borders are being accounted for and paying the checkoff dollars as well.
Northwest Farmers Union is working to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.