Editor's note: The candidates' responses to the following question are exactly as submitted, without any editing.
6. What improvements would you like to see in the nation's farm policies?
We must increase funding for innovation in the Farm Bill, so that we can integrate the same cutting edge technologies as our international competitors. I will increase the over $1.1 billion that has already been appropriated for the Agricultural Research Service and the $773 million to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture research in order to make that happen.
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I will also work so we can maintain our agricultural leadership in Central Washington. This means innovation, even in our most traditional farm technologies. Also, I will support the Yakima and Columbia River Basin projects so that our farmers have the water they need to continue creating jobs.
The nation's farm policies should focus on producing the greatest amount of useful food as economically as possible. The Farm Bill currently comprises a significant portion of the nation's farm policies. The Farm Bill originally helped protect farmers during poor-yielding years and from natural disasters, allowing them to manage risks and maximize food production for America. However, politicians have turned the Farm Bill into a political tool, compromising its purpose and effectiveness, and subjecting the Bill to waste and abuse.
Returning the Farm Bill to its original purpose and funding food stamps (SNAP benefits) separately would help return the Farm Bill to its original purpose.
(Editors note: We received Didier’s answer July 23)
As a farmer in the Columbia Basin I know that water is our life blood. If water usage and allocation should be interrupted or superseded over private ownership it would devastate our economy here in the Columbia Basin area as it has in California’s San Joaquin Valley. I will do everything within my power to make sure this never happens in the Columbia Basin.
As a second generation farmer, I know how the death tax infringes on the ability of farmers to pass on their family businesses to younger generations and has led to complete liquidation of agricultural assets accumulated through lifetimes of hard work just so farm families can pay the IRS. I will make it a top priority to repeal the death tax.
I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges and problems that the Federal Government agencies are putting on the American Farmer. I will be introducing and supporting bills to defund unconstitutionally created agencies that lack proper authority and/or jurisdiction over the American People.
Agricultural security is one of my top priorities. The day our Nation depends on foreign nations for our food supply will be the day of our demise. In order for our agricultural experts to grow food, they need access to water. I would continue to be a staunch defender of your water rights, work towards water storage and push for more of our Columbia River water to get into the hands of our growers.
Another improvement is realizing immigration reform combined with the streamlining of the H-2A and H-2B visa process that I outlined in the previous question.
A farm, like any other business needs predictability and stability from their government regulators so they can plan for their future. As I've done in the WA State Senate, serving as Chair of Commerce & Labor Committee, I will continue pushing to reduce the cost of doing business, by lowering taxes, reducing regulations and limiting the size of government. As your State Senator, I have never voted for a tax increase on WA citizens!
America needs to expand its trading partners overseas. I support free trade agreements, but free trade assumes both sides are playing by the same rules. I'll be vigilant in preventing nations like China from adopting unfair trade practices like currency manipulations, tariffs, non-tariff barriers, and intellectual property theft.
The quality of our agricultural products will sell themselves. We just need to give consumers around the world the opportunity to taste our superior agricultural products, and let them know they are grown in Washington State. These consumers will come back for more.
Well, I would like to see the Abolition of the Federal Reserve. Once the money printing is stopped and the value of our dollar is returned, our farmers will have more money to run their farms. They will not need to be dependent on farm subsidies so there will no longer need to be "farm policies." If we don't stop the Federal Reserve money printing, there is no possible way of truly improving farm policies.
Rather than taking an attitude of "guilty until proven innocent," federal regulators should approach farmers with an eye toward guiding them through the rules and helping them succeed. That's the approach I took as Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and we were very successful. I cut budgets and reduced overhead at the department, and state agricultural output increased and exports doubled.
Gordon Allen Pross
Cleaning up America's food chain through creating designer user friendly none toxic ergonomic applications for topical plant enhancers, pesticides, fertilizers to preserve a pristine H2o irrigation system, to include maintaining healthy livestock, soil, plant life and water table.
Didn't provide a response.
Currently the National Farm Policy has strong guidelines and policies on fair trade, bargaining, energy, land ownership, transportation and food labeling. Subsequent guidelines protect farmers through insurance and fair budget reductions for grain, especially. I believe if any changes need made it would be wise to explore the export policies to advance financial and fair trade opportunities, which will boost the economy in reciprocity.
Get the federal government out. They have no business dictating our farm polices.
Glen R. Stockwell
I will be introducing legislation to kill the CRP Program across our nation! It has turned "Patriotic and Good Conservatives Republicans" into Welfare Farmers! In my opinion that is one reason why it was initiated and the second reason was to also reduce the "Productive export Cash Flow across America", which helps balance our nation's trade imbalance in years past, now and in the Future!
It should have been killed after the 1st sign up of 10 years!
Candidate has not provided a response.