Washington Farm Bureau recognizes two Legislators for their work during the 2024 Legislative Session.

LACEY – Washington Farm Bureau (WFB) members selected a State Senator and a State Representative this week to receive their 2024 Legislator of the Year award. The award recognizes legislators who led efforts during the previous legislative session on at least one issue of great importance to agriculture. In addition to serving as the “go to” individual for legislative work on particular issues, legislators must have received special recognition during the session for their work. To honor their dedication to agriculture, WFB is proud to recognize Senator Kevin Van De Wege and Representative Mary Dye as the recipients of the 2024 Legislator of the Year award.

Senator Kevin Van De Wege represents the 24th District, which includes the counties of Clallam, Jefferson, and Grays Harbor. Senator Van De Wege serves as the Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee. In that role, Senator Van De Wege has provided WFB a platform to discuss pressing concerns, including agriculture overtime and exempt fuels. He championed an amendment to remove the dredge and fill proviso from the supplemental operating budget. Additionally, he sponsored amendments to enhance data collection standards, ensuring accuracy and reliability for the agriculture industry. Senator Van De Wege's collaboration with WFB also extended to addressing unemployment insurance benefits and deer and elk damage programs, underscoring his commitment to collaborative policymaking in support of agriculture.

In the House, Representative Mary Dye represents the 9th District covering much of the southeastern region of the state. Representative Dye serves as the Ranking Member of the House Environment and Energy Committee. Throughout the past legislative session, Representative Dye's commitment to constructive policymaking were evident as she sponsored an amendment to remove dredge and fill regulations from the supplemental operating budget. Additionally, she proactively stakeholdered concerns regarding the struggles of the agriculture industry and the nexus between decreasing food bank donations for the most vulnerable members of our communities. Throughout the 2024 Legislative Session, Representative Dye remained a staunch advocate for agriculture, actively participating in important discussions around issues such as, water, liability, and land use to ensure robust legislative support for Washington’s farmers and ranchers.

Reflecting on the two legislators receiving the 2024 Legislator of the Year award, WFB Vice President Coon stated, “Honoring the legislators who went above and beyond to work with us on important agriculture issues during this short, but jam-packed session is something we are proud to do. Representative Dye and Senator Van de Wege went out of their way to collaborate with our team. From sticking with us through negotiations, to finding unique avenues to advance our priorities through the process, their work supported our mission to strengthen the future of agriculture in Washington.”

WFB is honored to recognize these two individuals and looks forward to continuing to work with them for a stronger Washington state agriculture.

Legislator of the Year Award Winners
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