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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: agriculture

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May 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Farming families: The forgotten half of Washington

Combines unload wheat on the Ryan Brother's farm outside of Pullman, Wash. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Combines unload wheat on the Ryan Brother's farm outside of Pullman, Wash. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Agriculture is an important industry for the state of Washington, but residents on the west side of the state and in other urban areas don’t always understand its role.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Residents of Washington often refer to the divide between the western and eastern sides of the state as more than just geographic. The Cascade Mountains create a topographic separation, but it goes deeper: rural vs. urban, agriculture vs. industry, conservative vs. liberal.

It’s in Whitman County, in the southeastern corner of the state, where my part of this story starts.  Both of my parents grew up in Pullman, their fathers professors at Washington State University.  My mom’s sister married a farmer, so I spent part of my summers growing up riding horses, combines, and farm trucks with my cousins.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: agriculture, Child Labor Law, Commissioner of Public Lands