We are now engaged in a magnificent transition from dependence upon government budget funds for our farm research to an era of industry funding.
Western Farmer-Stockman has tracked this change in our magazine, website and here in blogs, recognizing those who have made the decision to post long-term research funding actions that guarantee a science-based cutting edge advantage for our industry.
Without research, we will fall behind our competitors and fade as the world’s leading agricultural nation. Without Washington’s tree fruit industry, the state would lose $7 billion in economic impact.
The latest such industry funding decision comes from the Washington stone fruit industry which will raise $5 million for Washington State University research over the next eight years. That’s certainly music to the ears of researchers challenged for support funding, and a symphony of promise for the growers, packers, shippers and rest who comprise this pivotal ag enterprise.
This support comes in the wake of similar multi-year industry research dollars promised to WSU by apple and pear growers.
The decisions to underwrite research emerge as a credit to those in the industry who approved such action. It will cost them: $4 a ton for cherry growers, and $1 a ton for other stone fruit growers.
I’d like to tip my hat to the stone fruit and cherry growers who passed this decision, even if they decided to reject a similar measure in 2011 under the auspices of the Washington State Fruit Commission.