The Latest News

Updates on our work, plus the latest food and farm news — in Washington and beyond.


Four Elements Farm: A farmland success story

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Four Elements Farm in Orting, WA

 

In 2010, when we learned of a prized 120-acre piece of land for sale in Pierce County, we saw an opportunity. Although it wasn’t in organic production at the time, we knew we couldn’t sit by and watch the farm sell to the highest bidder – especially in an area that has lost more than 70 percent of its farmland since 1950. So we got creative, secured funding, collaborated with the County, and purchased the farm outright.

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We’re Hiring! Community Engagement Coordinator

WE'RE HIRING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR Community Engagement Coordinator

 

Position Overview

We are seeking a self-motivated, organized, and enthusiastic coordinator to support our community engagement program. The successful candidate will play a crucial role in our work, gaining on-the-ground experience in volunteer coordination, event planning, innovative communications tactics, and land stewardship. This is a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture and is looking for hands-on experience in this sector. Continue reading

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Staff Spotlight: Rusty Milholland

Rusty MillholandRusty recently joined our team as the new Farmland Stewardship Manager. Hailing all the way from Utah, Rusty most recently served as the Stewardship Director for Utah Open Lands, and is thrilled to have finally made it to the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s Rusty…

Tell us about yourself. I like to say that my career in conservation started as a young child when my family served as the caretakers of a 140-acre bird sanctuary in southern Maine where we lived on the property. Every summer, we maintained the trails, lead volunteer parties, and engaged with our community. It was a really fun way to grow up, and laid the groundwork for much of my personal and professional interests.

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You Made 2015 A Momentous Year

2015 annual reportThanks to you, we not only fulfilled our promise to conserve more near-urban farmland last year, we also tripled our annual rate of conservation. From engaging with volunteers at our on-farm habitat restoration events, to kicking off our first-ever farmer-focused grant program, 2015 was big—and we couldn’t have done it without you. Have a look at our annual report to see last year’s accomplishments and our plans for 2016 and beyond.

View our 2015 annual report.

 

 

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Standing by farmers for the long haul

At our core, we are about farmland. Every day, we work to ensure the best farmland in our state is actively farmed, both so it produces good food for the community, and so its natural resources are protected into the future.

We know, however, that none of that would be possible without the right land stewards in place, caring for the farmland we protect. That is the ethos behind our stewardship program: to walk side by side with farmers, long after the land is protected, to support them as they nurture the soil, water, and habitat on their land. Continue reading

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We’re hiring! Farmland Stewardship Manager

Overview: The Farmland Stewardship Manager is responsible for the oversight, planning, and management of all properties in the PCC Farmland Trust’s portfolio of protected lands, which includes the stewardship of both lands conserved through conservation easements and through fee-simple purchase. The successful candidate will ensure the natural resources conserved by the Trust are protected in perpetuity by building positive relationships with landowners, maintaining diligent records, and developing resource restoration projects that meet the goals of the Trust. This is a full-time position which reports to the Associate Director and requires close collaboration with all team members and external consultants and contractors. PCC Farmland Trust has eleven full-time staff, including this position. The Trust’s office is located in downtown Seattle; this is a primarily office-based job. We are seeking a candidate who can join our team in May 2016.

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Ensuring a Farming Future in the Puyallup Valley

2016 FT Puyallup Valley Infographic

A historic agricultural community on the fringe of the developing city, PCC Farmland Trust identified the Puyallup Valley as a key focus area for farmland conservation in 2009. Together with Pierce County, the Pierce Conservation District, Forterra, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and farmers and landowners, we have built great momentum in the region.

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We’re hiring! Community Engagement Intern

Work with usOverview: We are seeking a self-motivated, organized, and enthusiastic intern to support our community engagement and conservation programs this summer. The successful candidate will play a crucial role in our work, gaining training and experience in volunteer coordination, event planning, innovative communications tactics, and land conservation and stewardship. This is a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture and is looking for hands-on experience in this field.
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Bailey Farm: Farming into the Future

Cliff and Rosemary Bailey

Cliff and Rosemary Bailey

The house smelled of pork roast and sweet blackberry dumplings. Dad milked the cows while mother tended to the garden out back. The fire crackled from cedar wood collected with grandpa that morning. Coins from the day’s lemonade-stand sat in a pile on the kitchen table. For Cliff Bailey, these were some of his fondest childhood memories. “Happy times,” he called them.

Today, Cliff has the joy of knowing that future generations will be able to carry forward the rich history of his family farm — forever.

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Sustainable agriculture gains momentum in the Puyallup Valley

Between 1997 and 2007, Pierce County lost nearly 23 percent of its farmland, much of it in the abundant Puyallup Valley. At this time, one quarter of the county’s farmland was slated for development. With the announcement of these startling numbers, PCC Farmland Trust began working with partners in an effort to curb the conversion of some of the state’s best farmland. About 2,000 acres were identified as top priority for conservation.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Farmland Trust invested $4.9 million to conserve 397 acres  —  20 percent of the acreage identified in the long-term goal. Seven family farms on that land produce an array of products, including eggs, honey, herbs, vegetables, pork, poultry, beef, animal feed, berries and hay. They represent a shift back toward sustainable and diversified land management and continued celebration of local agriculture in the region. Across Pierce County, the total market value of agricultural products is $91 million — making farming a critical economic driver. Continue reading

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