Articles by Guest Contributor

asparagus

Buy local to support state’s asparagus renaissance

By Marilou Shea I’m still in mourning over the wrenching tale of what happened to our Washington asparagus industry. In the late 1980s, asparagus was a thriving industry in the fresh and processed markets with 32,000 acres of the green spears shooting up from the fertile soils in Franklin, Walla Walla and Adams counties and…

Cathy MacCaul, advocacy director for AARP Washington

Saving for the future just got easier for Washingtonians

By Cathy MacCaul A new retirement savings initiative has launched in Washington. The Retirement Marketplace officially opened the nation’s first online savings portal in March, where businesses and individuals can comparison shop for low-cost, state-verified retirement savings plans. The Retirement Marketplace was created to help about 2 million Washingtonians who do not have access to retirement…

plants growing from money

The essential partnership to improve retirement readiness

By Stephen Palm Retirement planning is the process to prepare for the phase of life after employment income ends. There are several lifestyle items to consider. However, the primary issue is will there be sufficient assets and income to provide the desired income and lifestyle for the remainder of the retiree’s life. Research shows the…

Business Professionals Analyzing Financial Data

Adjusting to a retirement mindset can be challenging

By Scott Sarber Many people come into our office to prepare for retirement. We talk about when they are anticipating retirement and what their goals are. We review assets, liabilities and current cash flow. Through our financial planning process, we estimate future net worth and future cash flow. We let them know if they are…

The essential partnership to improve retirement readiness

By Stephen Palm Retirement planning is the process to prepare for the phase of life after employment income ends. There are several lifestyle items to consider. However, the primary issue is will there be sufficient assets and income to provide the desired income and lifestyle for the remainder of the retiree’s life. Research shows the…

(Courtesy Four Feathers Wine Estates)

Washington’s terroir sets stage for quality grapes, wine

By David Forsyth Washington state wines are now recognized as a legitimate player in the world wine market. While small in stature relative to the California industry, Washington wines are appreciated for their quality, value and their potential to becoming a bigger player in U.S. wine production. As the wine sales shift from less than…

Producers from HGTV’s “House Hunters” film Darin and Sierra Foster as they discuss the features they were looking for in a home during the opening scene. (Courtesy the Fosters)

‘House Hunters’ features Tri-City couple, showcases local real estate

By Jennifer L. Drey When Sierra and Darin Chase Foster decided it was time to buy their first home, they naturally gravitated toward watching “House Hunters,” a popular television show on HGTV that takes viewers behind the scenes with homebuyers as they choose between three potential properties. As newlyweds with two dogs, a cat and…

The Port of Tacoma recently received eight new cranes as part of $250 million in improvements being made to the Husky Terminal. The Northwest Seaport Alliance led the U.S. in exports of eggs and dairy, vegetables, coffee and tea, oil seeds and prepared fruits and vegetables in 2017. (Photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance)

Export uncertainties: Recent changes in trade policy cause worry

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington’s agricultural exports increased significantly in 2017, but uncertainty surrounding U.S. trade policy has some producers worried the state may be on the verge of losing its competitive edge overseas. Although the numbers are still being finalized, Washington’s agricultural exports appear to have increased by at least 10 percent in 2017.…

The average annual wage for those working in agriculture in Benton County in 2016 was $27,300, and in Franklin County it was $28,150. (Photo: Washington State Wine Commission/Andrea Johnson Photography)

Fierce wage competition: Farms compete for laborers as worker shortage continues

By Jennifer L. Drey An ongoing shortage of agricultural laborers is forcing some Washington farms to get creative in their efforts to attract and retain workers, while others are looking to the federal government’s guest worker program to bring in the help they need. More than 96 percent of Washington farms experienced a labor disruption…

Favorable growing conditions allow Washington wheat growers to produce some of the highest yields in the nation. (Photo: Washington State Department of Agriculture)

Looming concerns: Wheat farmers wary of proposed trade policies

By Jennifer L. Drey Washington wheat farmers face challenging times as the industry navigates changes in U.S. trade policy and potential cuts to crop insurance and key conservation programs included in the U.S. Farm Bill. Industry representatives have already taken to Washington, D.C., to make sure they have a seat at the table as the…

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