The Farmland Fund in community
Sound Consumer | March 2003
by Jody Aliesan, PCC Farmland Fund President and Operating Officer
See also related article:
(March 2003) — The PCC Farmland Fund is known for saving threatened farmland from development and keeping it in organic production. Since its inception in 1999, the Fund has participated in protecting three farms totaling more than 200 acres.
What may not be as well known is the Fund's work as consultant, educator and advocate for organic farmers and for organic and sustainable agriculture.
During 2002 the Farmland Fund:
- provided farmers in Clark, King, Lewis and Yakima Counties and in Hayter's Gap, VA with information and contacts to help save their land and develop alternative crops and markets.
- set up a "matchmaking" service connecting private farm savers to threatened land in Clallam, Clark, Island, Jefferson, Pierce and Skagit Counties.
- shared organic farming easement language with land trusts as far away as Kansas and assisted co-ops interested in building links with local farmers and educating their members about organic and sustainable agriculture.
- submitted comments to federal and state agencies supporting small direct market farmers, extension of crop insurance to sustainable and organic agriculture, comprehensive conservation plans that address farm succession or farm transfer planning, and opposing irradiated food in the National School Lunch Program.
- participated in letters to Congress supporting water conservation programs, tax incentives for agricultural conservation easements, improving competition and fairness in domestic livestock markets and stemming use of abusive contracts by industry, and establishing Washington State University's program for Organic Cropping Research and Education for the Northwest, and opposing antibiotics in animal agriculture.
- provided information at 18 community events and continued as a supporting member of the Cascade Harvest Coalition and the Land Trust Alliance.
Speaking engagements, interviews with reporters and students, and participation in studies of land trusts and natural resources law offered additional opportunities for the Fund to contribute to our community.
All of this was possible thanks to support for the Farmland Fund from more than 1,200 individuals, families, businesses, foundations and agencies. We are stronger when we work together.
Farmland Fund Highlights
Shipley Fields update
Steffan Sherman's purchase of the Shipley Fields is now underway. Thanks to all who contributed to save this land, the Fund stands ready to begin conservation easement negotiations with him as soon as he holds title.
Donor Roster (January 1 -31)
Barbara Culbertson Allen
Sandra K. Nielsen-Berlin
William C. Berlin
Mackenzie and Martin Brennan
Carolyn Wren Clark
Karen Cropsy Hardiman
Mary Jane Helmann
Randy Lee and Mari Hooten Lee
Laura Lipton and David M. Hepp
Paul and Anna McKee
Theresa L. Miller
Mary L. Ross
Meg A. Ryan
Cynthia L. Smith
David K. Smith
Patricia Stimac and Kent Buttars
Mark and Nancy Tucke
Dennis & Barbara Finnigan
The two "G's" birthdays
More than one hundred PCC staff members make voluntary payroll deductions twice a month. Roxanne Green started her deduction and two anonymous staff increased theirs; Kathy Blackman and Randy Lee made additional gifts. The Community Relations staff held an "open office" and raised $15 each for the Fund and for Cash for the Hungry.
Businesses and Organizations:
Boeing Matching Gifts Program
Good Nature Publishing Company
Nancy's Yogurt/Springfield Creamery
Northbest Natural Products
Stiebrs Farms: The Egg People
TalkingRain Beverage Company
Wildwood Harvest Foods
The PCC Farmland Fund works to secure and preserve threatened farmland in Washington State and move it into organic production. For more information, see the PCC Farmland Fund.