A question often asked by farmers and ranchers who are not members:

“What does the Farm Bureau do for me?”

The Farm Bureau is a grass roots organization that serves agriculture in several important ways.  For more than 100 years, Washington Farm Bureau has been advocating for farmers and ranchers.

As a member, you gain much more.

Second, you add voice to the Farm Bureau.

Third, the Farm Bureau assists you by highlighting the issues that you need to be aware of through Action Alerts and other communications.

Fourth, the Farm Bureau helps its members communicate themselves on those issues to the very law makers and committees that are important to that matter.

By any measure, farming and ranching in the State of Washington is getting more complicated, thanks in no small part to people at all levels of government who are not connected to agriculture making far reaching decisions that affect our industry. 

qtq80-TC5lNt
Why brave todays "rough seas" alone, when as a member of the Farm Bureau you have a powerful ally you can count on?

This past session (2023) there were an unprecedented 2,000 plus filed bills (500+ passed) in Olympia.  At least 70 of those filed bills directly affected Agriculture but that does not account for many of those other bills that while they did not affect your immediate bottom line still having the potential of impacts such as the overall growth of government or even the quality of life of our members (public safety for example).

Adding your voice helps the Farm Bureau advocate for you as a member.  Importantly, the Farm Bureau is also very supportive in getting your voice heard!  There are a number of ways this is accomplished, whether it is at the annual state convention and the educational activities there or other meetings during the year.  The biggest opportunity though is through “Legislative Days” which is when interested legislators meet with FB members in an informal setting.

 

Litigation

Unfortunately, there are times when litigation has become necessary for either a County Farm Bureau, the Washington State Farm Bureau or the American Farm Bureau Federation to advocate for it’s members in Court.

The Yakima County Farm Bureau actually prevailed in a lawsuit against Futurewise a few years ago.

courtroom-gc2e779948_640

The legal action that the Yakima County Farm Bureau participated in involved a decision by Yakima County to not include ephemeral streams (small and intermitent)  along with another issue in the Critical Area Ordinance.

Futurewise and other entities appealed that County decision to the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) which then sided with them.

Yakima County and the Yakima County Farm Bureau both filed in Superior Court opposing the GMHB decision and Futurewise.

The Superior Court sided with Yakima County and the County Farm Bureau in whole or in part.  Futurewise (etc.) then appealed to the State Appeals Court.

The Appeals Court sided with Yakima County and the County Farm Bureau with regards to the intermittent stream issue.  No more appeals were filed and the State Appeals Court decision stood.

Besides advocacy, there are several additional benefits to becoming a member.