All posts by Scott

New Washington State Dairy Ambassadors Selected

Anna Teachman representing King-Pierce Counties is the 2017-2018 Washington State Dairy Ambassador. Anna is the daughter of Michael and Lorilyn Teachman of SeaTac, WA.  She was one of three finalists at the 62nd Annual Washington State Dairy Ambassador Coronation at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington WA.

The new 2017-2018 Washington State Alternate Dairy Ambassadors are Juliana LeClair, representing Skagit County, the daughter of Joe and Annette LeClair of Mount Vernon, WA and Claire Leininger,representing Whatcom County, the daughter of Erik and Paula Leininger of Everson, WA.

The newly crowned WA State Dairy Ambassador stated “I am so excited to be representing the hard working dairy farmers of Washington for this year. Thank you Dairy Farmers for this opportunity!”

As a representative of the Dairy Farmers of Washington, the State Dairy Ambassador and Alternates will visit schools, attend local and state fairs, appear at Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) events, Teacher of the Week and many more activities including addressing the Washington State Legislature promoting the health and nutrition benefits of dairy products.

The dairy industry was well represented by their 2016-2017 Washington State Dairy Ambassador Alicia Smaciarz, the daughter of Terry and Lana Smaciarz (Raymond) and Alternate State Dairy Ambassadors Jana Plagerman, the daughter of Leroy and Rhonda Plagerman (Lynden) and Tiana Peterson, daughter of Tom and Bianca Peterson (Graham). These young ladies traveled around the state educating students, parents and others on the positive impact and value of Washington’s dairy industry and the importance of dairy products.

Left to right in the picture: Claire Leininger, Juliana LeClair, Anna Teachman, Alicia Smaciarz, Tiana Peterson, Jana Plagerman

Left to right: Juliana LeClair, Alternate Ambassador; Anna Teachman, WA State Dairy Ambassador; Claire Leininger, Alternate Ambassador

Administrated by the Washington State Dairy Women, the Dairy Ambassador program began in 1955 and has mentored and supported outstanding young women.

Legislative Update – June 3, 2017

Last week marked the end of the 1st Special Session of 2017, and Gov. Jay Inslee called the Legislature back into session for a second 30-day term. The Regular Session adjourned on April 23. These special sessions come as no surprise, as over the past several years the divided Legislature has typically needed special sessions to resolve its business.

Legislators have not come to agreement yet on an education plan to meet the Supreme Court’s McCleary mandate, whether to increase taxes, or the 2017-19 operating and capital budgets. However, they reached bipartisan agreement on a biennial transportation budget during the Regular Session. The end of the state’s fiscal year is June 30, so legislators will face increased pressure to reach a budget agreement by then.

During the past month, the governor has taken action on bills passed during the regular session. A full list of the governor’s actions can be found here.

Below is a list of issues that we worked on or were following during the legislative session, as well as updates on where those issues stand now. Some of the unresolved issues may again surface as the Legislature gets closer to a final go-home budget deal, presumably in late June.

WSU Plant Sciences/WADDL

Legislators are still considering a proposal to fund two agricultural science buildings on the WSU Pullman campus. The House Capital Budget provides $38.1 million for the first stage of the Global Animal Health Phase II project — the new home of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL). However, no funding was provided for the new Plant Sciences Building in the House budget. The Senate version of the Capital Budget provides $52 million for Plant Sciences and $23 million for Global Animal Health building. Both buildings are essential to Washington agriculture, and we support the funding of both projects.