Rep. Vincent Buys to lead vital agriculture and natural resources committee

Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, received some extraordinary news recently. House Republican leadership announced that he will serve as the Republican lead on state agriculture, water and natural resource issues. Buys, a 34-year-old small business owner, will replace Rep. Bruce Chandler as the ranking Republican on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

“I am honored that House leadership has confidence in my abilities. This committee evaluates legislation on a broad range of important topics. Water rights and accessibility continue to be a huge issue. The value of Washington’s agricultural production reached $9.89 billion in 2012. The forestry industry alone employs hundreds of thousands of people in our state,” said Buys. “None of the issues we are called to evaluate in this committee are unimportant or impersonal. The people back home who elected me are farmers, ranchers, miners and citizens. These issues we examine impact people whose children play in our parks and depend on access to water. Now, as the ranking Republican, I am more dedicated than ever in finding common-sense solutions and working across the aisle to ensure we create the best environment possible for the people of Washington state.”

Buys is one of the state’s youngest legislators and only in his second term as representative for the 42nd District. However, this will be his second leadership appointment since being elected. During the 2012 session, Buys served as the ranking Republican on the House Government Operations and Election Committee.

Former ranking Republican on the committee, Chandler, believes that Buys is a good fit for the new assignment

“Vincent represents a major agriculture area of our state and has a good understanding of agriculture and its importance to the life of our state, especially in rural communities,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “He has a lot of potential and energy for the job, and I’m excited to have him lead the committee.”

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee considers issues relating to agricultural production, marketing, and sales; animal and plant disease control; fisheries and wildlife; forest practices and forest fire protection; water; and mining. The committee also considers the management of certain state-owned lands. Last year the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on hundreds of bills and helped pass 21 new laws. One of those new laws was due to the passage of House Bill 1770 which was sponsored by Buys.

“When it comes to agriculture issues, I have full faith that Vincent is the person to lead our caucus. I know he will continue the good work of the previous ranking member on the committee,” said rancher and Deputy House Republican Leader Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda. “His district is home to a variety of agricultural crops and livestock enterprises that together with the rest of the state help our economy and ensure a pristine environment. No matter what challenges we face with new and stricter environmental regulations and government bureaucracy, Vincent will fight for our farmers, ranchers, orchardists and agriculture-reliant communities.”

House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen, agrees that Buys is a good fit for the new assignment

“We had several qualified people who could have replaced Bruce, but Vince stood out. He comes from a farming family, agriculture is central to many of the communities he represents, and he has demonstrated a passion for the issues that the committee addresses,” said Kristiansen, R-Snohomish. “This committee is about more than just agriculture. Vince will bring a fresh perspective on fisheries, forests, land use, mining, water and wildlife.”


Washington State House Republican Communications