SUNNYSIDE – Raising awareness to build a better understanding of Eastern Washington dairy farmers and their role in growing great food while also fundraising for the new Save Family Farming chapter, is an impassioned goal of Simplot Dairy Sales Representative Dean Hibbs’ outreach efforts.

For more than 30 years, Hibbs has worked closely with farmers in the area and understands how much public discord was created by the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Science Report. The controversial study blamed dairy farmers for nitrate contamination in well water. Challenges to the federal agency’s findings are uniting family farmers to speak out and it’s important for the public to hear their voices, he expressed.

“Dairymen are great stewards of the land. Great animal husbandry guys. If we don’t treat our animals or our land right, they’re not going to treat us (dairymen) right,” Hibbs stated. “I want to raise public awareness and start raising some money for the farmers. I just want to give back!”

Save Family Farming T-shirts are on sale for $25 and can be purchased at Simplot Western Stockmen, located at 304 Yakima Valley Highway. Donations to the non-profit organization may also be accepted at the store. Hibbs said he would gladly deliver the shirts in person and can be contacted at 509-420-3320. All proceeds generated will benefit the chapter.

The Save Family Farming organization and Eastern Washington grassroot chapter seeks to get the word out about family dairy farming in the region and to set the record straight about issues confronting “industrial agriculture” and “factory farming.”

“I think the public really is just not aware and they see a lot of stuff about abuse and things that we do wrong, and we do a lot of things right!”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email PShelby@SunnysideSun.com

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