The Wind Machine


Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry.


Washington State Primary

●  Tuesday’s primary in Washington clarified who will be running in the general election for the state’s ten House of Representatives seats in the 113th Congress. No surprises, with four incumbent Republicans (Doc Hastings, Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers) likely to cruise to reelection this [...]

Farm Bill V

●  Moving a Farm Bill through Congress this year has proved difficult. Why?  Because it represents huge expenditures of taxpayer dollars (mostly on social feeding programs, such as food stamps); contains controversial environmental policy directives; incites arguments between large commodity groups based on self-interest and geography; represents “big government” [...]

Insane Coils of Red Tape

● As a result of this year’s redistricting, commercial tree fruit growers will have reason to have constituent contact with four out of the ten representatives to be sent from Washington state to the nation’s capital for next year’s 113th Congress. Each of the four districts are now held [...]


● The merger talks between the Produce Market Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have failed. It appears that the break point was over who would lead a combined trade association: PMA’s board is said to have wanted its own Brian Silbermann to be the designated CEO, while [...]

Farm Bill IV

● The House Committee on Agriculture approved by a bipartisan vote of 35-11 its version of the Farm Bill late Wednesday night. H.R. 6083 now is poised to go before the full body for debate and a vote on passage. When will this happen? As soon as Speaker Boehner [...]

The Supremes

● The Farm Bill is set to be marked-up by the House Agriculture Committee on July 13. Controversy has been sparked by both regional crop differences on policy, and the pressing need to control the federal budget. It would surprise no one if a new Farm Bill was not [...]

Farm Bill III

● The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, passed last Thursday by a vote of 64 to 35. Attention now pivots to the House of Representatives, where committee action on the  Farm Bill will likely start the week of July 9. While great pressure for passage [...]


●   President Obama acted last Friday to help many young people—those without the correct residency papers, but otherwise clean records—to  stay in our country and be employed. This bypass of Congress causes further uncertainty over how a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform package might be eventually crafted. And while it [...]

Farm Bill II

●  The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, now has over 220 floor amendments floating about it. Some of these are straight-forward policy modifications; others would kill or cripple specified USDA programs (such as the sugar program and the Market Access Program); a few seek to [...]

Farm Bill

● The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S.3240, today cleared its first procedural hurdle by easily surviving a cloture vote (90-8). Debate will now take place over the next few weeks on floor amendments to this measure, which includes federal funding for such things as nutrition, agricultural research, [...]