New Ag Research Initiative up and running!

By MADILYNNE CLARK  | 
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Jul 7, 2016

Hi everyone! My name is Madi Clark and I am the new Agriculture Research Director for Washington Policy Center. The Agriculture Initiative is brand new to WPC and I am excited to be leading this effort.

Since I was young, I have always loved agriculture and spent many days helping my dad’s veterinary practice on dairy and beef operations across the country. In middle school I even wrote a piece for the local Utah Farm Bureau about the life of an onion! Little did I know that my love for agriculture would lead me to this opportunity of protecting and improving agriculture through solid research and policy development.

Agriculture is crucial to Washington’s economy and our daily life and should be a top concern for everyone. From quality, affordable food to fiber for clothing, agriculture plays a critical role in our daily lives. I care about promoting agriculture because I care about protecting our food supply and what goes on my dinner table.

Working at WPC, I will be a strong advocate for agriculture and work to promote policy that protects our food in an economically sustainable way. Using a free-market approach I will put growers at the center of policy – those who have the incentives and information to expand agriculture in a way that increases wealth while reducing cost and resource use.

That is why if you would have asked me in college what my career would be, I would have brainstormed this job description. When the job announcement came out this spring I was amazed that my dream job actually existed.

It is common knowledge among aggies that much of the general public has a limited understanding about where their food comes from. I also believe that a majority of those with a general or vague understanding of the source of their food often misunderstand the policies, trends and practices surrounding the production of that food.

How many people buy GMO-free food believing it is DNA free?

How many believe a cow is actually wandering in a stream when a stock photo from Amish Country was used instead?

How many support “buy local” mandates without realizing the damage done to US-based agricultural export markets that create jobs and income for our state?

My goal is to improve the understanding between Washington agriculture and consumers so when our agriculture industry faces an issue, the public will be able to make informed votes and purchases.