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Connecting land and farmers

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 Farm2Farmer, which will strategically match food producers with prime farmland. Farm2Farmer will not only help new farmers launch their careers, it will help retiring farmers identify their successors.

We are beginning this effort in Pierce County — our deep relationships there mean we can build a community-based, farmer-driven program. Our long-term goal: assist even more farmers across the Puget Sound region.

The hard-working hands of food growers bring our mission to life. Support from people like you sustains it. Please join us in our effort to ensure farming remains viable long into the future.

As always, thank you for believing in our work. 

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Thanks to you, Viva Farms is growing!

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!

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Staff Spotlight: Hilary Aten, Conservation Director

Meet Hilary, the Trust’s Conservation Director, mother of one of the cutest children on the planet, and soon-to-be graduate of the Washington Ag Forestry Leadership Program.

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2,000 acres conserved and counting

We are thrilled to share the news that as of this week, our total number of protected acres passed the 2,000 mark!

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Supporter Spotlight: Kat Taylor

kat taylorTell us about yourself and your connection to sustainable food and farming.
Although I am an artist, I have had a deep connection to the land for many years.

I have early memories growing up in Georgia, watching my daddy and granddaddy tend to the garden. I remember walking out amongst the corn, okra, and squash, listening to the birds and feeling the tomato leaves prick my skin. There was a wonderful feeling of belonging and rightness that I felt there as a child. That kind of harmony has informed my path and a lot of what I value now.

In the 1990’s, I lived on Orcas Island, and my clay studio was on a beautiful property with a big organic garden. During those years, I remember taking a course on organic gardening for activists. It was then that I really solidified my interest in and commitment to creating a more sustainable food system.
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PCC Farmland Trust partners with Viva Farms

What do a farm incubator and a land trust have in common? Besides our shared love of hearty vegetables, we’re both working to build a prosperous farming future for the next generation.

Viva Farms is a non-profit farm business incubator located in the Skagit Valley, and has educated over 500 small farmers in sustainable and organic farming since 2009. Currently, Viva is incubating 12 independent farm businesses, eight of which are Latino-owned. Viva provides new or beginning farmers with five farm business start-up essentials: land, equipment and infrastructure, bilingual training, marketing, and capital. In order for Viva to continue to help launch the next generation of farmers, they are in need of a larger land base.

In 2015, PCC Farmland Trust conducted a bilingual survey to understand the needs of new and aspiring farmers in Washington. Viva Farms emerged as a key partner during that process, so when the prospect arose to help Viva purchase a new piece of land to expand their programming, we jumped at the opportunity.

By helping Viva Farms grow, the Trust hopes to create a steady flow of well-trained farmers to steward the land we’ve protected into the future.

Help PCC Farmland Trust and Viva Farms launch the next generation of farmers.We have until February 28, 2017 to secure $45,000 for Viva’s new property. Help us meet our goal and kick off this new partnership!




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3 tips for starting the year off right

A new year means a new opportunity to make an impact. There are so many ways to get involved with PCC Farmland Trust and support healthy food and sustainable farming. We’ve listed a few below.

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Mountain View Dairy Protected Forever

We did it! Thanks to you, we just closed on the largest farmland conservation project to date in Pierce County: the 284-acre Mountain View Dairy.

This is a huge win for Pierce County, the local food economy, and farmers like Ryan and Haylee Mensonides who now have access to more affordable farmland in their community. We are so proud to have been able to purchase this valuable piece of land in our focus area, and to place it in the hands of farmers who will care for it into the future.

In addition to its incredible views of Mt. Rainier, Mountain View Dairy has some of the best remaining soils south of Puget Sound. It was platted for 59 estate homes at one point. Continue reading

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PCC Farmland Trust closes on largest farmland conservation project ever in Pierce County


Seattle, Washington | December 15, 2016 – Having lost 70% of its farmland since 1950, PCC Farmland Trust’s protection of a 284-acre farm in Graham, Wash. is a huge win for Pierce County. Mountain View Dairy is 8 times larger than the average farm in the area, making it the largest farmland conservation project ever in the County. In addition to its incredible views of Mt. Rainier, Mountain View Dairy has some of the best remaining soils south of Puget Sound.

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Farmer Feature: The Mensonides Family

Over the last two years, Ryan and Haylee Mensonides haven’t taken more than three days off.

“We’re the crazy ones who do this work because we love it,” said Ryan.

Raised on his uncle’s dairy in Roy, Wash., farming has been in Ryan’s blood since he was a little boy. As an undergraduate at Washington State University, Ryan spent his summers on the family farm, helping pay his way through school.

After a go at public relations upon graduating, Ryan was called back to the dairy industry, and went on to work in a processing plant in California for the next 7 years. It was during these years that he met Haylee, a city girl with hopes and dreams that had little to do with farming.

Flash forward to 2016, and their story of farm life unfolds. Today, Haylee and Ryan are naturals on their organic dairy farm in Enumclaw, Wash., producing milk for Organic Valley. Ryan maintains the herd of 500 while Haylee manages all of the bookkeeping. Between the tireless work of keeping their farm running, the couple makes time for their other full-time job — raising up four small boys.

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