By Senators Morton and Rasmussen


     WHEREAS, Washington state farmers produce $5.77 billion worth of agricultural products; and


     WHEREAS, Food processing is a $7.7 billion industry and is the state's second largest manufacturing industry in value and number of employees; and


     WHEREAS, More than 190,000 Washington residents are employed in direct, agriculture-related jobs; and


     WHEREAS, Almost 91 percent of the value of agricultural products sold are produced by 22 percent of the state's farms; and


     WHEREAS, About 25 percent of the state's agricultural commodities are sold in Washington, about 50 percent are sold in U.S. domestic markets, and about 25 percent in international markets; and


     WHEREAS, There are an estimated 36,000 farms in Washington covering 16 million acres and producing over 100 different commodities; and


     WHEREAS, Washington State ranks first in the production of 10 major commodities and 13th among all states in total agricultural output; and


     WHEREAS, Governor Gary Locke has proclaimed January 27, 1998 as Agriculture and Agricultural Business Day;


     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate recognizes and honors the men and women who have made agriculture a top industry in this state and we applaud the agri-business community for their efforts to ensure that agriculture maintains its leading role in our state and nation's economy.