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Tree fruit growers urged to visit legislators


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington State Horticultural Association is holding its 11th annual Tree Fruit Day at the state Capitol on Jan. 29.



The association encourages as many growers as possible to attend to meet with legislators and their staff about issues affecting the tree fruit industry such as labor shortages, E-verify, increased pesticide buffers and notice requirements, tax increases and more.



It's the one best chance of the legislative session for growers to collectively tell legislators firsthand how governmental policies and regulations affect orchard operations, said Bruce Grim, association executive director.



Many legislators lack agricultural background and direct contact with growers can be very meaningful, Grim said.



A year ago, 30 tree fruit industry representatives participated in the event and helped distribute more than 300 gift packs of apples, pears, apple juice, Aplets & Cotlets and more donated by 14 tree fruit companies and organizations. That effort will be repeated this year.



For more information: www.wahort.org or (509) 655-9641 ext. 303 for Stephanie Chance.



-- Dan Wheat



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