Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Farm Internship Bill 6349 needs your help this morning!

The Farm Internship bill passed the state Senate last week unanimously. For 6349 to get to the Governor's desk to become law, it has to now get through the House committees and back to the Senate.
This morning at 11 am, the Commerce & Labor committee will vote on moving Bill 6349 out of the committee and on through to other comittees and the Senate. Can you contact as many of our state representatives on this Committee as you can this morning,
and let them know 6349 needs to pass?Rep. Steve Conway, 360-786-7906,Conway.Steve@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Alex Wood, 360-786-7888, Wood.Alex@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Cary Condotta, 360-786-7954, Condotta.Cary@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Bruce Chandler, 360-786-7960, Chandler.Bruce@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Larry Crouse, 360-786-7820, Crouse.Larry@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Tami Green, 360-786-7958, Green.Tami@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Jim Moeller, 360-786-7872, Moeller.Jim@leg.wa.gov
Rep. Brendan Williams, 360-786-7940, Williams.Brendan@leg.wa.gov

Below are some good reasons why full support of SB 6349 is important to establish a
process for internships on small farms in Washington State:

Recent audits of small farm internship practices by Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) have raised a serious issue for the small farmers in our state. Washington State labor law doesn't recognize farm internships as a valid worker category unless the
participants are enrolled at a recognized educational institution. Because only a small percentage of farm interns are registered students, the majority of small farms teaching interns are likely not in compliance with L&I's requirements.

Statewide, small farms are becoming increasingly important in maintaining a diverse and sustainable local economy. This bill allows small farms to establish an internship programs for future farmers to pass on crucial vocation knowledge of farming practices and enterprises. SB
6349 is essential for ensuring continued growth in the agricultural industry.

Our state representatives can help farm interns and small family farms, and the communities and economies they are a part of in by voting SB 6349 out of committee.

Here's a link to the latest information available on 6349's progress.
Once you've become involved in your democracy, you may want to watch
what happens to this bill as it makes its journey to become law - here.