Agriculture and Rural Communities

Agriculture and Rural Communities

Washington is proud to be a national leader in agriculture, and its farmers, growers, and ranchers are critical to our state’s economy, environment, and quality of life. Senator Murray knows farmers and growers face constant challenges – from difficult market conditions and changing weather patterns to natural disasters and high input costs. She has consistently fought in Washington, D.C., for agricultural producers and farmworkers, and will continue to work to ensure farmers have access to domestic and international markets for their high-quality products. Washington state’s rural communities have unique housing needs, and Senator Murray continues to work to ensure that farmworkers and rural Washingtonians have the housing, education, and job training opportunities they deserve.


When harmful, unnecessary cuts kicked in in 2013, Senator Murray worked across the aisle with now-Speaker Ryan on a bipartisan budget deal that restored critical investments in support programs such as Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to help farmers and growers maintain a competitive edge in the global marketplace, and Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) to help solve critical specialty crop issues. Her bipartisan budget deal also helped protect rural housing programs through USDA, providing rental assistance to low income tenants in rural communities and essential resources to build new affordable housing options in rural Washington.


Senator Murray has been working to support Washington’s agriculture and rural communities by:


  • Restoring and increasing federal funding for agricultural research as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • Supporting important specialty crop, disaster assistance, and nutrition provisions in the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills.
  • Helping create the National Clean Plant Network, which provides a source of clean, virus-free root stocks for our tree-fruit, wine-grape, and nut-tree industries.
  • Expanding nutrition programs that allow our local agriculture industry to provide nutritious food to our state’s schools.
  • Helping establish the Washington State Farmworker Housing Trust - a nonprofit organization that works to secure and invest resources to provide safe, affordable housing and community services.


Senator Murray keeps fighting for our rural communities by:


  • Providing federal funding for agricultural research to help promote scientific advances, which farmers and ranchers rely on to stay competitive.
  • Increasing investments in specialty crop programs to ensure this growing sector receives adequate support.
  • Maintaining a safety net to help our farmers and ranchers during difficult times, such as natural disasters.
  • Supporting efforts to help farmers and ranchers efficiently transport their products from the farm to the market.
  • Ensuring our agricultural industry has the workers they need, while protecting the rights of farmworkers.
  • Strengthening Rural Development programs at the Department of Agriculture, which help to provide a pathway to rural home ownership, increase affordable housing opportunity, and lower energy prices through use of renewable generation.