"Farm to Free Market" dinner talks ag regulations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Farm to Free Market" dinner talks ag regulations

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The first ever Farm to Free Market dinner, hosted by the Washington Policy Center packed the Red Lion in Pasco with topics ranging from the snake river to green energy, but the main focus of tonight's farm to free market dinner was agriculture regulations. 
“this is our chance top start making our own difference, to start making Washington agriculture a little better day by day,” said Madi Clark, the director of the newly formed agriculture policy arm of the Washington Policy Center. 
She says one of the biggest concerns her organization hears from local farmers are burdensome regulations.
"We have this ever increasing burden of regulation and it comes from every angle, it can be water it can be labor, it can be environmental, it can be the GMOs that we sometimes grow depending on the crop, and so it's coming from every angle,” she said. 
As a third generation farmer, as well as a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, it's something Congressman Dan Newhouse is passionate about. 

"This meeting tonight gives me the opportunity to share with them some of the things I'm seeing in Washington DC, some of the issues we're working on, and also to hear from them on some of the issues the people in this area think are important and I should be spending my time on," Rep. Newhouse, (R-Wash.), said. 
Giving the congressman a better understanding of what local farmers care about is exactly what Clark hopes the evening accomplishes.  
So what makes the top of her list? 
"At the local level, right now we have the Hearst decision which limits our ability to drill rural wells. So a farm family that wants to bring a kid home and build a house, right now under a certain court decision that happened in October, they can't do that. They cant drill a well because the court said each and every homeowner has to pay the money to do that," she said. 

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