Washington State
House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
ESB 5341
Brief Description: Creating a location-based promotion program for Washington food and agricultural products.
Sponsors: Senators Muzzall, Shewmake, Van De Wege, Torres, Warnick, Kuderer, Liias, Stanford and Wilson, C.; by request of Department of Agriculture.
Brief Summary of Engrossed Bill
  • Requires the Department of Agriculture to convene an advisory committee to identify the appropriate scope and nature of a voluntary location-based program to promote local food and agricultural products.
  • Repeals the From the Heart of Washington Program.
Hearing Date: 3/14/23
Staff: Rebecca Lewis (786-7339).

The Department of Agriculture (WSDA) oversees, manages, regulates, and supports a variety of programs related to food safety and agriculture in the state.  This includes providing fee-based services to the agricultural community, promoting Washington agricultural products, and ensuring that a variety of agricultural regulations are observed.  Programs administered by the WSDA address animal and livestock health, commodity inspection, food safety, food assistance, pesticide and fertilizer inspection, and business and marketing support.
The From the Heart of Washington Program (Program) was created by the WSDA in June 2002.  The purpose of the Program was to increase in-state demand for Washington agricultural products, to present an accurate picture of the value of agriculture as part of the state's economy, and to show agriculture's role in sustaining rural communities.  The Program was funded with one-time federal grant funds.  After federal funds were exhausted, the Legislature gave the WSDA authority to establish a private, non-profit corporation under the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act to continue the Program.  The Program was formally dissolved in 2008.

Summary of Bill:

The Director of the Department of Agriculture (Director) must establish an advisory committee made up of interested agricultural and food production organizations in order to identify the appropriate scope and nature of a voluntary location-based program to promote local food and agricultural products.  The Department of Agriculture must actively seek nonstate funding sources to operate the program, and any funds received must be deposited in the Agricultural Local Fund.
The Director must submit a report that contains recommendations for the development and implementation of the program to the appropriate committees of the Legislature during the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2024.
The From the Heart of Washington Program is repealed.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.