Schmick bill to merge wheat and barley commission passes House

‘Farmers, like everyone else, are trying to find ways to tighten their belts,’ says Schmick

 

Legislation to create the Washington State Grain Commission passed the House of Representatives today.

House Bill 1254, sponsored by Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, would merge the Washington Wheat Commission and the Washington Barley Commission into the newly-created Washington Grain Commission.

“Farmers, like everyone else, are trying to find ways to tighten their belts,” Schmick said.  “Most of my colleagues in Olympia were surprised to learn that most farmers who grow wheat also grow barley.  The ability to merge these two entities into one provides an opportunity to reduce overhead and costs.  We’re looking at being more efficient with the limited resources we have.”

There are 25 agricultural commodity commissions in Washington.  These commissions are formed primarily to engage in research and marketing for their specific commodity.  The activities of commodity commissions are funded primarily by assessments on the producers of the commodities.

“There has been talk of merging the two commissions for the past five years,” Schmick continued.  “With the current state of our economy and with the challenges and financial turmoil facing our farmers, now seems to be the best time to do this.”

Schmick’s bill passed the House with a unanimous 97-0 vote.  It now goes before the Senate for consideration.

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Contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov