In January, Knute Berger and Matt M. McKnight took the time to visit some of our farms in Whatcom County and then explained in Crosscut why bridging the urban-rural divide is so important for our state and communities. After all, as they mentioned, our failures to understand one another can blossom into hot political issues. What happens in urban areas affects farming and rural communities — and vice versa. For instance, a crisis in farming can quickly disrupt the food chain supplying city dwellers.
In February, the issue of pesticide use by farmers arose and provided a compelling example of what happens when the bridge between rural and urban mindsets fails.
A bill was introduced into the Legislature by well-intended and mostly urban legislators. It proposed to solve a “problem” with pesticide application by requiring four days’ notice before a farmer could apply necessary crop-protection materials. Farmers opposed the measure which was reported in Crosscut. That February article, in the view of farmers, added to the bill sponsors’ misperceptions about farmers and their interest in protecting workers, consumers, and neighbors.
Read the FULL ARTICLE, here: “Crosscut.com“