As food growers across our state harvest apples, radicchio, garlic, and squash, I too am called to gather my own bounty as I reflect on the last eight years at PCC Farmland Trust.
As many of you know, I will be stepping down from my role as Executive Director in the spring of 2019. Since I joined this organization, the PCC Farmland Trust family has grown in a multitude of far-reaching ways. Whether you are a long-time friend or a more recent addition to our community, you have played a critical role in our growth, rooting yourselves alongside us in the steady, purposeful work of conservation.
It is with great pride that I share that, in the last eight years, we quadrupled our portfolio of conserved acres — bringing our total from 549 to 2,548. Thinking back on our humble beginnings as a two-person staff in 1999, I am blown away by the collective impact we have been able to have on our precious natural resources. In recent years, we have sharpened our focus on the most threatened farming communities in the Puget Sound region, responding to rising land prices with innovation and creativity. From launching a land-matching tool for farmers and developing an impact investment vehicle, to helping a farm business incubator expand its programming and providing micro-grants to sustainable farmers, it has been deeply satisfying to expand the ways in which we carry out our mission. Most of all, it has been a profound honor to do it with you, the champions of sustainable and organic farming.