The new president of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers says she will continue efforts to share farmers’ stories with decision makers and seek logical solution for legislative issues.
Nicole Berg, of Paterson, Wash., says the association intends to continue its farm tours for state and federal legislators and agencies.
“We have to get people out to actually see and feel what we do,” Berg said. “If we don’t, the policy decision makers or regulatory decision makers may make some decisions that could impact farmers that may not be in our best interest.”
The legislative session that began this week will find WAWG representatives in Olympia. Berg said that among the issues that will be addressed, the “potential to pollute” in water quality regulations needs to be better defined.
WAWG will also monitor transportation discussions in the session.
“We want to make sure our farm-to-market infrastructure is secure,” she said.
On the federal level, “We’d like to see a Farm Bill that would give us long-term certainty on our safety net for our food,” Berg said.
Berg got involved in the association’s leadership because she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, who were involved in the wheat industry.
“They’re a group, a society and a culture that likes to approach problem-solving with a logical, well-thought-out manner,” she said. “We want to solve the problem with solutions and not necessarily just complain. That’s why I’ve always respected the industry.”
Berg said the association exists to help farmers with problems and ensure profitability.
“We become profitable with the management of our natural resources, with efficiencies, through technologies,” she said. “We’re here to be their voice on a policy level.”