PACIFIC COUNTY, Wash. — Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, has been honored as a co-recipient of the Washington Farm Bureau’s 2011 Legislator of the Year award.

Hatfield, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee, received a letter of commendation as an “outstanding protector of agriculture in Washington.”

Hatfield and fellow 19th District Rep. Brian Blake were recognized for their understanding of the importance of agriculture to Washington’s economy by supporting agriculture’s requests on water use, fertilizer issues and fuel fees.

“Sen. Hatfield has served as an ardent and early supporter of unemployment insurance reform legislation and real workers compensation reform through SB 5566, issues extremely important to the success of farmers and ranchers in our state,” read the commendation.

Hatfield was recognized for his assistance in creating the new Voluntary Stewardship Program, an alternative to new agriculture regulations under the state’s Growth Management Act.

Hatfield and Blake will be recognized at the Washington Farm Bureau’s 92nd annual meeting in November.