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Advisory committee created to build partnership with agricultural community

OLYMPIA – Invitations have been sent to a broad array of agricultural interests to participate on the Washington Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) new agriculture and water quality advisory committee.

Ecology is reaching out to expand upon and improve working relationships with agricultural landowners and livestock producers. The aim is to provide an open forum for dialogue ensuring both water quality protection and a healthy agricultural industry.

“I believe we can have on-the-ground approaches that preserve agricultural lands and protect water quality if we roll up our sleeves and work together on this,” said Director Maia Bellon.

“I have invited Vic Stokes, president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, to co-chair the group,” Bellon added.

“I look forward to benefitting from his personal experience as we collaborate and work through tough challenges facing agriculture and water quality protection.”

Ecology is inviting livestock producers, wheat and other crop growers, environmental groups and tribes to join the group. Members of the committee will have hands-on experience in the industry in order to provide practical guidance on key policy issues.

The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, at Ecology’s offices in Lacey. Meetings will be open to the public and locations will alternate between eastern and western Washington.

Ecology will post information, as it becomes available, about the advisory committee on online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/nonpoint/Agriculture/index.html.

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