Org News

2023 Organizational Celebrations

This year, our organization continued to grow our capacity and ability to respond to community needs, forged creative new partnerships, conserved more farmland forever, and expanded our efforts to support farmers with land access in new regions around the state. We invested in education and learning, creating a healthy organizational culture, connecting with one another and our community, and deepening our commitments to equity and justice.

Conserved our 30th farm

Protected the 100-acre Hunter Farm in Pierce County, preventing the property from being split into 10 acre lots and sold for development.

Conserved Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm

Conserved the 207-acre Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm in Snohomish, which has been in production by the Ricci Family since 1888.

Forged a new partnership with the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition

Forged a new partnership with the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition by purchasing a 43-acre farm in Lewis County, supporting their efforts to create a food hub and farm incubator for Black and Brown farmers in Southwest Washington and Oregon. The acquisition was funded by a new funding program from the Washington Housing & Finance Commission, FarmPAI, designed to support land access projects for historically marginalized growers.

Made 23 successful matches between farmers and landowners

We nearly doubled the number of people we were able to support with land matches through Farm to Farmer this year. We also connected with clients 2,237 times to provide resources and counsel, including 30 in-person meetings.

Transferred critical salmon habitat to the Tulalip Tribes

Facilitated the transfer of 116 acres on Reiner Farm to the Tulalip Tribes — critical fish and wildlife habitat along the mainstem of the Skykomish River.

Advocated for funding to support farmland, habitat, and communities in Snohomish County

Joined colleagues from conservation districts, the Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes, county government, farmers, and other partners under the Floodplains by Design program to advocate for funding in the capital budget supporting integrated solutions to community flood hazard management, salmon habitat restoration, agricultural land preservation, and agricultural viability. We also engaged in multi-stakeholder efforts to support this work throughout the year.

Participated in Latino Conservation Week for the third time

Participated in Latino Conservation Week alongside partners from the Seward Park Audubon Center, EarthCorps, Latino Community Fund of Washington, Climbers of Color, Edgeworks Seattle, and the Tukwila School District. Guests participated in a mushroom demonstration, painted bird houses, removed blackberries, and went on a guided nature walk.

Grew our team and ability to respond to community needs

Welcomed four new staff members on our Farm to Farmer, Fundraising, and Operations teams, expanding our capacity to work in new counties around the state, support farmers collectives, and respond to community and client needs.

Lobbied for a new source of conservation easement funding

Lobbied for the successful funding of the Farmland Protection and Access program of the Washington State Conservation Commission in the capital budget. The $4 million provides a new source of easement funding specifically created to support Buy Protect Sell projects through FarmPAI (Farm Protection & Affordability Investment program).

Hosted our 2nd annual Friends & Farms Fun Run

Hosted our second annual Friends & Farms Fun Run on Four Elements Farm this summer. Attendees either ran or walked in a 5k around the farm property, picked blueberries, and enjoyed a tour from farmer Agustin.

Hosted our 4th annual Love the Land

Hosted our 4th annual Love the Land at a new venue, The Seattle Farm, with close to 300 guests who helped us raise $181,179. The evening featured words from local farmers, a DJ set from KEXP Djs Greg Vandy and Eva Walker, a musical performance from Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, an exceptional meal from Musang, and support from sponsors and community members new and old.

Removed invasive species on Growing Things Farm

Our staff came together to help farmer Michaele Blakely remove blackberries to create habitat for pollinators and birds on Growing Things Farm.

Hosted a volunteer work party with Plant Based Food Share

Partnered with Plant Based Food Share to host a volunteer work party building important infrastructure on a local farm in Skyway. Plant Based Food Shares works to close the gap in access to fresh, locally sourced, and culturally relevant foods, and provide ag education in communities that have experienced fresh food apartheid.

Hosted a volunteer work party with Elk Run Farm

Conducted a volunteer work party on Elk Run Farm, a food bank farm operated by the South King County Food Coalition. We provided our support with weeding, seeding, transplanting, and getting the fields ready for the season.

Re-launched our volunteer program

After a few years on pause during the pandemic, we re-launched our volunteer program with a series of virtual orientations and new engagement offerings.

Completed two successful online giving campaigns

Raised $48,098 from 184 donors through online giving days GiveBIG and GivingTuesday.

Invested in education and learning on our board

Our Board of Directors engaged in a series of educational sessions to learn more about treaty and non treaty Tribes in Washington, salmon recovery, and the local grain economy with partners from the Whitener Group, the Nisqually Land Trust, the Stillaguamish Tribe, and The Bread Lab.

Held an Earth Day tour with donors on Reiner Farm

Conducted a tour of the Reiner Farm with a group of donors on Earth Day to experience the multi-faceted landscape we protected in 2018.

Conservation Manager Nate Lewis

A member of our staff joined the National Organic Standards Board

Washington Farmland Trust Conservation Manager Nate Lewis was appointed to the resource conservation seat of the National Organic Standards Board, where he will serve for the next five years.

Launched the Farmer Voices project

Launched the Farmer Voices project, an online campaign to highlight the many perspectives of food growers in Washington, their challenges, and what they wish more people knew about farming.

Funded projects to support healthy soil, water, and habitat

Provided $21,536 in funding to farmers through our Advancing Farm Sustainability program this year, leveraging an additional $63,038 through match funding. These grants support projects that promote healthy and productive soil, clean and abundant water, biodiversity and habitat, and climate resilience on conserved farmland. We had our most competitive grant cycle this year and were able to fund five projects thanks to the support of our corporate sponsor, Skanska.

Created a new role to support a healthy organizational culture

Created a new role, the Director of Staff Learning & Engagement held by Megan Jenny, to support our staff in the transition to a remote environment, grow a culture of learning at our organization, and center WFT’s values in everything we do.

Supported National Young Farmers Coalition’s advocacy efforts

Signed on to the National Young Farmers Coalition’s proposed Farm Bill legislation for the Land Access, Securities, and Opportunities Act.

Launched a co-leadership model on our fundraising team

Implemented a co-leadership model within our Fundraising team, demonstrating our values of shared leadership, creative pathways for growth, and the long-term sustainability and satisfaction of our organizational leaders.

Participated in the Women of Color Fundraising Cohort

Two members of our Fundraising team joined the Women of Color Fundraising Cohort hosted by two fundraising leaders in the region.

Collaborated with our founder PCC Community Markets in new ways

Deepened our engagement with our founder PCC Community Markets through a brewery event collaboration, an educational webinar for members, and an in-store sale of WFT-branded MiiR mugs that raised $8,000 for the Trust.

Welcomed new board members and board leadership

Welcomed new board members Kate Knight, an executive advisor focused on growing and scaling new businesses, and Morgan Maki, Chief Operations Officer of Bio-Logical Capital. We also ushered in new leadership on our board with Joan Caine as President and Josh Monaghan as Vice President.

Made investments on farms that we own

Invested in irrigation infrastructure on two farm properties owned by WFT, helping to promote water conservation, soil health, and agricultural viability in alignment with our Healthy Farms principles.

Thank you for your partnership this year! Make a gift today to support more good work in 2024.