PCC Farmland Trust

Sound Consumer | February 2007

by Alicia Guy, Director, PCC Farmland Trust

Bennington Place: More than 174 acres

Bennington Farm

When the PCC Farmland Trust purchases farmland to preserve it, there is cause for celebration. Another farm is secure to produce hearty and healthful vegetables and livestock for future generations. Years later, we still have reasons to celebrate as these farms continue to play a significant part in education and innovation for sustainable agriculture.

The 174-acre Bennington Place, purchased by the PCC Farmland Trust in January 2004, is productive rangeland rising up from the Washington/Oregon border near Walla Walla. Since Joel and Cynthia Huesby started leasing the land in 2004, they’ve passed many milestones we thought you’d like to know about.

Sustainability

  • The Huesby family operation, Thundering Hooves, received organic certification on its land in February 2005.
  • The local community now can purchase naturally raised beef finished on certified organic pastures at the Thundering Hooves meat shop in Walla Walla.
  • In late 2007, the Huesbys will be offering their first batch of certified organic beef.
  • In summer 2006, Huesby leased a 2,000-acre range and worked with the landowner to get the land certified organic by Oregon Tilth.
  • Huesby is now co-vice-president of Tilth Producers of Washington, a statewide resource group for sustainable agriculture.
  • Thundering Hooves is a Salmon-Safe Certified farm working with Stewardship Partners.

Innovation

Joel Huesby recently finished his “Pasture Harvest Abattoir.” The first in the country, it’s a federally inspected, self-contained mobile slaughter facility.

“By bringing the facility to the livestock, we can reduce stress and offer the most humane harvest possible,” remarks Huesby. His plan is to enact a small revolution in the way meat is processed.

Education

The new WSU BioAg program is utilizing Bennington Place in a research project conducted by graduate student Stephen Bramwell, who is investigating the effects of low-impact tillage and livestock/cereal crop rotations and soil building in organic systems.

In addition, Joel Huesby has led numerous farm walks for local schools, colleges and Tilth Producers.

Bennington Place field trip

Because there’s so much going on at Bennington Place, we’ve organized an educational field trip. On Saturday, March 31, Joel Huesby will lead PCC Farmland Trust supporters on a tour. He’ll talk about organic livestock — from soil to sale. This year’s new calves will be arriving and spring will be in the air (we hope) so bring your cameras, your bird books and your mud boots!

Find out more about the Bennington Place Farm tour or register for the trip. You may also contact Alicia Guy or Kathryn Gardow for more information at 206-547-1222 or e-mail

Find out more about the Huesby family operation at www.thunderinghooves.net

Learn more about the Bennington Place and the rest of our farms by visiting www.pccfarmlandtrust.org.

Broccoli graph representing amount of funds raised for April 30 deadline.
(Amounts represent thousands of dollars.)
Ames Creek Farm donation challenge

We are making progress in our challenge to raise $250,000 by April 2007 to help pay off the Ames Creek Farm. Help us today to get the rest of the way there.

As of January 15, we’ve raised $107,000 — 43 percent of our April 30 goal.




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More about: Ames Creek Farm, PCC Farmland Trust, Thundering Hooves

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