Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) oversees, manages, regulates, and supports a variety of programs related to food safety and agriculture in the state. Programs include animal and livestock health, commodity inspection, food safety, food assistance, pesticide and fertilizer inspection, and business and marketing support.
Food Policy Forum.
Together with the State Conservation Commission, the WSDA convenes the Food Policy Forum (Forum). The Forum is a public-private partnership that must develop recommendations to promote a variety of food system goals including:
Office of Equity.
The Office of Equity was established on July 1, 2020, within the Office of the Governor, to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities and improve outcomes statewide across state government. Duties of the Office of Equity include facilitation of state policy and systems change to promote equitable policies, practices, and outcomes through various means that include:
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) must ensure the inclusion of historically underrepresented communities in farming and ranching, including in urbanized areas as defined by the United States Census Bureau, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of food and agriculture laws, rules, regulations, policies, and programs. "Historically underrepresented farmer or rancher" means a farmer or rancher who is a member of a group of people whose members have not been represented in farming or ranching due to prejudice based on race or ethnicity.
As a part of this responsibility, the WSDA must:
On or before October 31, 2022, the WSDA must report to the Governor and Legislature on the WSDA's efforts to serve historically underrepresented farmers and ranchers, identify any existing gaps, and include recommendations to improve outreach to and resources for historically underrepresented farmers and ranchers.