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Thanks to you, 2016 was significant in many ways. Together, we expanded our conservation imprint, deepened our support of local farmers, and enhanced the ecological health of our protected lands. From engaging with volunteers at our on-farm habitat restoration events, to closing on the largest farmland conservation project to date in Pierce County, last year was big—and we couldn’t have done it without you. Have a look at our annual report to see 2016’s accomplishments and our plans for the year ahead.
It’s 4:30am, and we are preparing for a sunrise wheat field walk just outside of The Bread Lab in Skagit Valley. In addition to serving as a research center for Washington State University plant breeders, Jones’ Bread Lab is also home to the King Arthur Flour Baking School. Thankfully, that meant we were able to sneak in to the kitchen for a whole grain croissant, fresh-from-the-oven, topped with lemon curd and Bow Hill blueberries before our stroll. The smell alone of butter and nutty grains woke us right up.
Below is our next video in the #AFSBehindtheScenes series, featuring Kim Shelstad of Shelstad Farm in Orting, Wash. Hear from Kim about how he is using our Advancing Farm Sustainability grant dollars to create pollinator habitat and promote biodiversity on his farm.
Position: Farm to Farmer Program Coordinator Reports To: Community Engagement Manager Salary Range: $31,200 – $35,880 ($20-$23/hr, 30-hours per week) Closing Date: August 31, 2017 Ideal Start Date: November 6, 2017
We are excited to launch the first video in our #AFSBehindtheScenes series! Hear from Amy Moreno-Sills of Four Elements Farm about how she is using our Advancing Farm Sustainability grant dollars to build soil health on her farm.
Seattle — The state of Washington is a top grower of produce, yet over the next decade, seven out of every 10 farmers will retire with no successor.
There is no one to take over for them.
“The farms are disappearing. Once it’s paved, it’s gone and it’s no longer really retrievable,” said Rebecca Sadinsky, CEO of PCC Farmland Trust, an organization that works to preserve farmland and keep it from being sold for other purposes.
Last year, PCC Farmland Trust launched Advancing Farm Sustainability (AFS), a micro-grant program that supports farmers in their adoption of new approaches to sustainable land management. The purpose of the program is to provide the financial support our farmer tenants and landowners need to protect and steward the natural resources on their farms.
One year in to the program, we have been able to award 8 grants that support projects that improve soil, air, water, and/or habitat on our conserved farms. But what does “sustainability” really mean? In order to ensure funded projects fulfill the purpose of our program, we rank them against a variety of criteria. First, we measure whether or not the project helps achieve goals outlined in the landowner’s farmland stewardship plan, which we often develop together. We then assess the scale and the length of the natural resource impact of the project. Next, we make sure the proposed project aligns with the National Organic Practices guidelines on farm practices or biodiversity. If the project institutes a change in current practices, or leverages additional funding sources or volunteer time, even better.
Carefully stewarded farmland nourishes our communities, fuels our economy, and restores our soil, air, and water. Without hard-working hands, farmland isn’t farmland.
PCC Farmland Trust has partnered with Washington farmers for nearly 20 years, and we’ve come to understand their unique challenges and needs. That’s why today, we are expanding the ways in which we carry out our mission by working to better connect farmers to our conserved land. We are developing a new program called Farm to Farmer, which will strategically match food producers with prime farmland. Farm to Farmer will not only help new farmers launch their careers, it will help retiring farmers identify their successors.
As if reaching the 2,000 acre mark wasn’t enough, we have even more exciting news to share. Thanks to your support, we were able to meet and exceed our goal for the down payment on the Viva Farms expansion project, which means, more Washington farmers will be supported into the future!