EASTERN WASHINGTON, Wash. —
Representative Dan Newhouse came back to eastern Washington to meet with local farmers to talk about concerns they have and how his Farm Bill renewal can be be reshaped.
Reshaping the bill would allow it to better cover any issues that need to be addressed and were missed when the bill first passed in 2018.
After talking with some of the farmers, Rep. Newhouse tells me the bill will help them with crop loss and research on making farming more efficient.
"It was a very helpful conversation, exactly what I was looking for so I can go back to Washington (D.C.)," says Rep. Newhouse, "and make sure that our priorities in the state of Washington are included in this legislation."
For some farmers however, it's an issue how much it costs to a farmer in Eastern Washington.
Jason Merriman with Merriman Agriculture tells me the biggest issue is insurance prices but it doesn't stop there.
"Crop insurance, crop protection products so pesticides," says Merriman, "but then like the weather... I know congress doesn't do anything about the weather."
Rep. Newhouse wants to make sure policymakers understand what's important to local farmers.
"In this environment where people are looking to trim costs to reduce spending," says Rep. Newhouse, "I wanna make sure that those things that are important to my farmers, to my ranchers are at the top of mind for policy makers."
Merriman says if policy makers make changes to the regulations on chemicals he uses in his fruit to help fight off diseases and pests he is stuck with chemicals he cant use and has to throw them away.
"Thousands of dollars in chemicals," says Merriman, "You don't wanna just have those things wasted then have to dispose of those."
For Rep. Newhouse, caring about agriculture should be something everyone cares about.
"Agriculture is something everybody relies on," says Rep. Newhouse. "Particularly if you're interested in eating two or three times a day."
He says the bill will be talked about the spring and summer in the nation's capital before its expiration in September.
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