Gov. Gregoire says farmers' products will pick WA out of recession - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gov. Gregoire says farmers' products will pick WA out of recession

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SUNNYSIDE, Wash. – Governor Chris Gregoire spent the second day of her "Feeding Washington" tour picking cherries and emphasizing the importance of agriculture to the state's economy.

 "We stand ready to help our farmers be able to introduce their products as the highest quality to consumers around the globe," she said.

Gregoire was joined by Agriculture Department Director Dan New house at his family farm. He showed her some of the different techniques used by cherry pickers.

The governor explained that she has seen the demand for Washington fruit like cherries on recent trips to Asia. She believes helping fruit growers tap those markets will get the state out of tough economic times.

"If we do that, we'll find our way out of this recession," said Gregoire. "That's the road to recovery for us."

Agriculture is 12 percent of Washington's economy and employs 160,000 people, according to the governor. She says it brings in almost $40 billion a year.

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