National FFA honors state legislator

photoState Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, speaks on the floor of the Washington State Senate.

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — State Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, will receive the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 91st FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis next month.

The award is given to individuals who have provided exceptional service to agriculture, ag education or FFA.

Honeyford said he’s proud of FFA youth in Washington and that it’s been a privilege to support their efforts and commitment to ag education and public service.

“Working on our state’s farm, ranch and agricultural issues is one of my highest priorities, so it’s truly rewarding to receive this recognition from both the state and national FFA,” said Honeyford. He owned an operated a small family farm for 25 years, serves on the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee and is a leading voice on water and ag issues.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, has more than 523,000 student members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture.

Honeyford led the fight for a solution to the state Supreme Court Hirst decision that restricted access to well water and crippled rural economic development.

The Senate passed a fix four times but the Democrat-controlled House refused to act. Honeyford held firm against passing a state capital budget until Hirst was addressed. He prevailed.

In addition to state and national FFA awards, Honeyford has been endorsed by the Washington State Farm Bureau and named its legislator of the year in 2003, 2007 and 2013.

— Dan Wheat

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