Centralia 43 is a partnership with the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition (BFSC), a nonprofit whose mission is to ignite Black and Brown communities to participate as owners and movement leaders within food systems, placemaking, and economic development. BFSC also hosts the Back to the Root gathering, an annual regional conference in the PNW by and for African and Black farmers, ranchers, and food producers. In this partnership, Washington Farmland Trust serves as the temporary property owner and BFSC as the tenant. BFSC is the intended buyer and future owner of the property.
Centralia 43 was identified by the BFSC board of directors in 2022 as a priority land acquisition as a part of their strategic plan. We are honored to have been invited to support the acquisition and conservation process, and plan to transfer the property to BFSC at the close of their capital campaign in the coming years. Once ownership is transitioned, Washington Farmland Trust will hold the conservation easement on the farm.
The farm is 43 acres and located in the Lincoln Creek Valley. The property includes a primary residence, fully-fenced pasture, a large machine shop, a barn, a greenhouse, a stable, and a residential well. The team at BFSC plans to establish a food hub and farm incubator on the land to support Black and Brown farmers in the region.
In addition to aligning closely with BFSC’s strategic plan, this project also aligns with Washington Farmland Trust’s project selection criteria and organizational values. Conservation of the land will keep its prime soils in tact, maintain the agricultural viability of commercially productive land, and support our land access priorities in support of historically marginalized groups. Most importantly, due to its location and proximity to the I-5 corridor, it will help grow BSFC’s programs to serve more farmers in the metro Portland and Seattle regions.