Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Date: 03/01/2021
Today’s Program: Wa State Agriculture update
Meeting Called to order: President Sean @ 12:07 pm
Invocation by: Dennis Peterson
Pledge of Allegiance led by: President Sean
Four Way Test led by: President Sean
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Guest of Rotarians: None.
Program Committee Meeting – Please contact Jim Leonard to join
Next Board Meeting – March 24th @ 9am – to join, contact President Sean
Program: Sarah Wixson is a lawyer from the Yakima Valley. She works with closely held private companies, particularly in agriculture, on complex employment litigation matters. Her practice includes defense of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor claims. She has been focused on this area of practice for the last 20 years. She is a partner of Stokes Lawrence, operating their Yakima office.
She presented about farms and farmers. Washington crops are *very* labor intensive to produce. The average cost of labor in Washington farming is about 22%. It is 9% nationally. Annually Washington’s Agriculture income is about 9.67 Billion. The majority of the 36,000 farms in Washington, make less than $250,000 a year. 96% of farms in Washington are owned by families. Sarah shared the impacts of the pandemic on Agriculture in WA and nationally.
Sarah shared about the challenges Washington farms face and the changes to the industry over the last two decades. She also shared about the challenges that farm workers face and the changes farm workers have had to navigate in the industry over the last two decades.
Meeting Adjourned: 12:58pm by President Sean