8th District Representative Kim Schrier was in Wenatchee Friday for a tour of one of Stemilt's packing facilities as well as a roundtable discussion with local growers, producers and tree fruit industry experts.

Schrier is the only member of the House Agricultural Committee from the Pacific Northwest.

"There was a lot of discussion today about the workforce, the H2A workers, and some of the intricacies in bringing them here on early contracts." said Schrier, "When the harvest season is delayed by weeks you can have workers who you're paying for sitting idle. On top of that (the employer) gets penalized."

Weather-related issues in the tree fruit industry was also a major talking point. Producers said it could take as much as a year to find out just how impactful this year's late snow, rainstorms and hail has been to the 2022 crop.

Schrier told those present that not only is there now aid for those impacted by the spring's wild weather, but more long-term security can be found in the 2023 Farm Bill, which is still being created.

"If we want to preserve family farms, then we have to invest in family farms and give them assurances. If we want our ranchers to do well, including small and medium-sized ranchers, we need local processors," continued Schrier.

Schrier will take part in a House Agricultural subcommittee listening session on the Farm Bill July 22nd in Carnation, Washington.

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