Advancing Farm Sustainability project updates
We are excited to share some background and updates about our grant program that supports farmers with sustainability projects: Advancing Farm Sustainability, or AFS. We launched this program in 2016 to support farmers working on land we’ve conserved. We provide grants up to $5,000 to support projects that meet the following goals: healthy and productive soil, clean and abundant water, biodiversity and habitat, and climate resilience
To date, we’ve provided almost $80,000 to farmers and leveraged an additional $250,000 that folks have matched through other sources. We hope to be able to increase the amount we are able to provide through each grant starting in 2024. Today, we are excited to share some updates on the projects we were able to fund this year.
Pink Moon Farm was protected in 2022 and is located in Eatonville, WA. Farmer Grayson’s grant helped fund a big project to build confinement areas for their sheep so that they can be off pasture in the winter months. This allows for water quality management so that Grayson can more easily manage manure and leverage it for composting. The confinement area will also support soil health by allowing the pasture to rest, increasing its water holding capacity and addressing drainage issues.
Four Elements Farm was protected in 2012 and is located in Puyallup, WA. Farmers Amy and Agustin’s grant is allowing them to add nutrients back into the soil. This is a multi-year project that they have been working on for a long time, given that soil takes many years to be brought back to life after it has been stripped of its nutrients. This project will help increase productivity and soil health on the farm.
Helsing Junction Farm was protected in 2015 and is located in Rochester, WA. Farmers Jessica and Angie’s grant helped fund the installation of a rainwater catchment tank that will allow them to conserve water to irrigate crops in the greenhouse without pulling from their well.
The last project is on Getchell Ranch, which the Trust protected in 2021 and is located just outside of Everett, WA. Farmer Maria’s grant is helping her build livestock shelters that allow her to rest her pasture, which reduces compaction and maintains water holding capacity in the soil.
We invite you to learn more about our stewardship work and all of the ways we’re keeping land healthy for the long haul at wafarmlandtrust.org/stewardship.