State Agriculture Community Comes to Tri-Cities to Consider Reforms to 2018 Farm Bill

Jan 31, 2018

PASCO – From America to New Zealand, ideas for reforming Agriculture and the 2018 Farm Bill will be front and center at Washington Policy Center’s 2018 Farm to Free Market dinner at the Pasco Red Lion on Thursday, February 8th.

The annual event is a statewide gathering of Washington’s Ag community, co-presented by the Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington Ag Network and many other organizations. It is a can't-miss opportunity for growers, orchardists, farmers, cattlemen, business owners, elected officials and citizens from across the state.                                                                                                

The 2018 Farm to Free Market event will feature Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking woman in the United States House of Representatives, who is the chair of the House Republican Conference. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She played a key role in the 2014 Farm Bill, which advanced critical research priorities for Eastern Washington farmers and researchers at Washington State University.

Also featured will be Maurice McTigue, a former cabinet minister and member of the New Zealand parliament. A former farmer himself, McTigue served at a time when the country chose to eliminate government subsidies for farmers. The decision to embrace dramatic change was personal for McTigue and others in government. About 40 percent of the members of parliament were farmers. “I’ve got bruises and bumps still to show from it,” says McTigue. He later became New Zealand’s ambassador to Canada. McTigue currently serves as the Vice President for Outreach at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Other organizations partnering with Washington Policy Center on the event include the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Washington State Potato Commission, Washington State Tree Fruit Association, Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, Washington Cattlemen's Association, Far West AgriBusiness Association, Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are still available at

Washington Policy Center focuses on eight key research areas: Agriculture, Education, Environment, Government Reform, Health Care, Small Business, Transportation and Worker Rights. Ideas from WPC’s research centers are regularly implemented by voters and the legislature and are in the media, on average, seven times a day in Washington state.