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A holistic vision for the future of farming

Farming is a bridge between people and the natural world. When the land is depleted, our communities suffer too. That’s why we believe wholeheartedly in farming that rebuilds soil, keeps water clean, supports habitat and biodiversity, and promotes climate resilience. These tenets of a healthy landscape are the keys to our own prosperity, too. 

In the world of agriculture, there are many growing methods that promote these ecological benefits, from organic to no-till, regenerative to biodynamic. Historically, our organization focused on protecting certified organic farms; however, just 2% of the nearly 40,000 farms in Washington fit this definition. This reality combined with the countless pressures stacked against farmers has inspired us to think bigger about how we conserve land at scale, steward natural resources, plan for climate resilience, and ensure equitable access to farmland. After all, such complex threats to the future of farming require an equally complex approach to making change. 

Over the last 20 years, Washington Farmland Trust has worked side by side with farmers, developing a deep understanding of the many barriers that they face. Whether it is finding and affording land or navigating the challenges of adopting new practices, farming is a balancing act. In order to have the biggest impact on Washington’s land and farmers, we focus on three core strategies: keeping farms healthy, building climate resilience, and making land accessible.

Through our stewardship program, we provide micro-grants to farmers as a way to incentivize practices that enhance soil, water, and habitat — moving the needle toward a healthier farming ecosystem. Through our conservation program, we have developed strategies that prioritize farms threatened by flooding, droughts, and wildfires. Through our Farm to Farmer program, we have created tools and strategic partnerships that help farmers find affordable land, ensuring that a new generation of growers has the resources that they need to succeed in farming.

We see these core strategies as critical to achieving a holistic vision for the future of farming. I am incredibly proud of the creative ways that our organization has evolved to respond to emergent needs, advocate for farmers, and ensure our land is cared for long into the future. I hope you will consider a gift to Washington Farmland Trust to honor this critical and innovative work that will sustain a future for farming in Washington. 

Thank you for your support and for being on this journey with us.