Establishing the Governor's Council on Agriculture and the Environment

WHEREAS, the agriculture industry in Washington State has been the mainstay of our rural economies and values, as well as consistent supplier of affordable, quality farm products for the Pacific Northwest and the world. The State of Washington competes only with the State of California for the title of the most diverse agricultural state in the nation. Washington produces 90 different crops and leads the nation in 11 of those. The agricultural economy in Washington represents $17 to $20 billion or one-fifth of the state's gross product. Food processing has recently become the state's second largest employer. Agriculture is Washington's largest industry.

WHEREAS, production agriculture is a land.and water intensive activity which accrues benefits to society. Because agriculture helps maintain our rural areas, the general public is afforded both scenic and recreational benefit. When the impacts of certain agricultural activities or policies begin to conflict with other values, questions and issues arise. Both agricultural and the non-farming public have a mutual interest in the protection of our natural resources.

NOW, THEREFORE, in an effort to provide the leadership agriculture needs to coordinate and communicate among the various commodity and environmental groups, and federal, state, local and tribal governments, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby direct that the Washington Governor's Council on Agriculture and the Environment be established as follows:

The Governor's Council on Agriculture and the Environment shall consist of not more than 24 members appointed by the Governor representing the following organizations: commodities, environmental and conservation, Native Americans, governments, conservation districts, irrigation districts, agribusiness 9 food processors, and general agriculture. The Governor shall select the chair.

The primary support for the Council shall be provided by the Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the numerous other state agencies who may be involved with any of the issues.

The Council shall provide a forum for communication and dispute resolution between agricultural environmental governmental and other interests on issues of mutual concern.

The Council shall provide advice to the Governor, state agencies, and the Legislature with respect to the business climate for agriculture in Washington.

The Council shall provide information and education to the Governor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
24th day of September A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-three.

Mike Lowry
Governor of Washington


Assistant Secretary of State