We need to empower rural communities through the revitalization of one of our oldest and most integral industries. One of the best ways we can help family farms and rural communities is encouraging young people to continue the agricultural legacy at the very heart of our national identity. By offering incentives in education and fostering investment in local communities, groups like Future Farmers of America teach leadership and agriculture to the next generation. This investment in our communities is at the very core of American ideals and values; the expansion of this kind of program is the very thing I will help support when you send me to Congress.
I want to make sure farmers and ranchers in Eastern Washington stay competitive by improving access to markets across the world through the negotiation of trade deals with foreign nations. The United States has some of the most skilled negotiators in the world, and I have every confidence that they will be able to make a deal that benefits each party involved. Engaging specifically with nations along the Pacific Rim will open up a vast new economic opportunity for our agricultural products and create a lasting bond for a bold new future.
It’s time for us to revisit subsidies - many farmers rely on them, but too few are actually benefiting from the current way we enact them for the current system to be maintained. We need to reform crop subsidies as they disproportionately benefit large agribusinesses and leave the small family farms that have been part of America since time immemorial behind in the wake of corporate advancement. While I recognize the benefit that large agribusinesses have for our state and nation, we need to make sure that we aren’t cutting out family farmers from the benefits they need. We need to enact liability protections for our farmers who do not grow genetically modified crops, and ensure their standing to recover economic losses which result from drifting genetically modified materials.