By Branden Brink:

The Whatcom County Cattlemen’s Association is the local chapter of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. We are comprised of local beef producers, businesses, and industry supporters in Whatcom County. We strive to encourage and promote the beef industry primarily to local youth who will be the next generation of farmers. Currently the average age of the American farmer is almost 58 years old! Getting the younger generations involved and excited about farming is imperative to the future of food and fiber production both locally and on a national level.

We accomplish this task with involvement in events such as the Whatcom County Youth Fair and the Northwest Washington Fair as well as supporting the local FFA and 4H programs in any way possible. Our support for these events and programs includes college scholarships, award sponsorship in showmanship, grants for project animal purchases, and many more.

Possibly more important than supporting our local youth is protecting their ability to farm in Whatcom County now and into the future. This has become increasingly difficult due to potentially unreasonable and hasty land use regulations and water restrictions based on outdated science and agenda driven politics. If the regulations become too difficult to navigate and farming isn’t at least somewhat profitable, what’s the point?! These policies do not only effect farmers, there are many supporting business that provide services such as feed supply, equipment sales and repair, agronomy services, etc…. As farms go out of business, so do the supporting industries.

The Whatcom County Cattlemen’s Association and the Whatcom County Farm Bureau have been working diligently for over two years with the Whatcom County Planning and Development Services to create and implement codes that meet the regulatory needs of larger agencies such as the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection Agency but will help lessen the burden of local farmers. This process has been tedious at times and is costly as lawyers get involved. The Cattlemen and the Farm Bureau have spent tens of thousands of dollars and the representatives of these organizations have spent hundreds of hours volunteering their time to find solutions mitigating these regulatory measures. Our goal is to have common sense regulation that protects the environment while also protecting our ability to farm.

We would love for you to be a part of our mission of promoting, supporting, and defending the cattle industry. Please consider becoming a member, there are several options for non cattle owners, beef producers, and businesses that support the industry. You could also make a financial contribution or attend our annual banquet and live auction on February 22, 2020. For more information on our organization, please contact the Whatcom County Cattlemen President Branden Brink on our Facebook page @whatcomcountycattlemen or you can email us at whatcomcattlemen@gmail.com.

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