Sustaining a Future for Farming: An Appeal from Executive Director Melissa Campbell
Dear Friends & Supporters,
If we didn’t know it before, we certainly know it now – farming is essential. The current, multi-level crisis has
exposed the vulnerabilities in our food system. Climate change, the pandemic, and troubling inequities in land
access are threats to local food production. Washington farmers need our support, and the time to act is now.
The U.S. is home to 10% of the planet’s farmland—the most of any country on Earth. Yet, we are irrevocably
losing thousands of acres of farmland every single day. In just 10 years, Washington lost 100,000 acres of
farmland. We are also losing farmers. Many are ready to retire but do not have a successor. If these trends
continue, we will lose the option of regional agriculture – and with it, our regional food security.
We can accept the current rate of farmland loss, or we can work together to protect what we have left while
we still can. We can accept that small-scale family farmers don’t have a future in Washington, or we can
commit to supporting them.
For over 20 years, Washington Farmland Trust has protected farms from Sequim to Walla Walla and across
the Central Puget Sound region, focusing on the most threatened farmland. This year, we changed our name
to reflect our statewide commitment, but our mission remains the same: We protect and steward threatened
farmland across the state. We keep land in production by making it accessible to future generations of farmers.
As we look to the next 20 years, it is imperative that we invest in new partnerships, expand our service area, and
grow our programs to serve a greater diversity of farmers if we are to achieve our vision of sustaining a future
for farming. To scale our efforts, we work side by side with place-based partners to:
• Protect and steward Washington’s most valuable farmland while we still can – with an expanded focus in
Western Washington and support for local needs and priorities in Eastern Washington;
• Expand Farm to Farmer to meet on-the-ground needs of local agricultural communities across the state;
• Address climate change and social inequities in everything we do.
Confronting impacts of climate change and systems of social inequities will ensure the actions we take today
are lasting. And, we are committed to deep learning and reflection—in order to ensure that our goals align with
the most pressing needs of the communities we serve. We’ve started this learning process by looking inward at
our organization—examining our individually held beliefs, organizational structures and practices, and we are in
the process of developing programmatic commitments.
Farms and farmers are the backbone of communities across Washington State. To ensure their place in our collective
future, I invite you to make a gift to Washington Farmland Trust. Together, we can sustain a future for farming.
P.S. We are aware that there are many emergent community needs right now. Every donor truly makes a difference. Together, we can grow a more just and sustainable food system. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity!