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Governor Gregoire Discusses Working Lands Initiative

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2007

Governor commends legislators on agriculture accomplishments of the 2007 legislative session

YAKIMA - Governor Chris Gregoire today discussed her Working Lands initiative with farmers, cattlemen, foresters and conservation district members at Washington Fruit Place at Barrett Orchards in Yakima.

“Working farms and forests are vital to the Washington economy and to the well-being of many of our communities,” said Governor Gregoire. “My Working Lands initiative will help farms and forests continue to thrive by developing a comprehensive strategy to position our growers and processors to take advantage of changing markets.”

Governor Gregoire toured the orchard and then discussed her Working Lands initiative, and other new programs to support agriculture and natural resources, with farmers, cattlemen, foresters and conservation district members.

The Barrett family started their first orchard in the Yakima Valley in 1918 and now operates about 60 acres of orchards, including cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and apples.

With Governor Gregoire’s leadership, the Legislature this session passed measures that will:

  • Keep farms and forests profitable and productive;
  • Support Washington Wildlife and Recreation;
  • Help communities meet water needs;
  • Name the Walla Walla sweet onion as the state vegetable;
  • Turn more crops and biomass waste into energy;
  • Encourage biofuel development;
  • Ensure fuel quality;
  • Turn research on agriculture and alternative fuels into products;
  • Reduce the cost of new business;
  • Improve job market information;
  • Give business a break in Medical Aid payments; and
  • Ease taxes on rural small businesses.