Lawmakers in Olympia focused on the future of the Washington’s farming sector, thanks to a bill that cleared the state Senate Wednesday.  The legislation, put forward by freshman Republican senator Nikki Torres, expands the state’s farm internship program.


“This is a great opportunity for interns who want to learn how to farm or run a farm including people who want to work in the hop industry if you consider that 70% of the nation's hops come from central Washington,” Torres said.


Substitute Senate Bill 5156 requires the state Department of Labor and Industries to certify that the participating farms would allow interns to participate in career and technical education or other educational content with courses in agriculture.  The bill would define a small farm as one with annual sales of less than $265,000, rather than the current less than $250,000.


“The bill would open up the program to all counties and make the program permanent,” she continued.


The legislation passed unanimously in the Senate and now heads to the House.  Click Here to learn more or to follow the progress of the legislation.


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