PCC Farmland Trust Programs
PCC Farmland Trust works state-wide, with a strategic focus in King and Pierce counties for the next 3 years. The Trust helps ensure a future for organic farming through three main programs:
The Future Farms program captures the Trust's primary mission – preserving organic farmland forever. As a land trust organization we accomplish this using organic agricultural conservation easements, as well as outright purchase of properties when necessary. Our conservation work includes community outreach to identify preservation projects, meetings with landowners and farmers, negotiating sale and purchase agreements for farmland acquisitions, conducting baseline reports, and completing all legal documentation.
The Stewardship program works directly with farmers and landowners to create and implement plans for the long-term stewardship for each farm saved. It includes all of the tasks necessary to safeguard rescued farmland in perpetuity: baseline documentation, stewardship plans, farmer communications, and regular monitoring of all Farmland Trust properties. The Stewardship program also works to build relationships between a new generation of farmers, the Trust, and the local community -- helping to establish our mission of saving local farmland, into the future.
Our Community Education program engages local community members in the issues of farmland preservation and the importance of sustainable, organic agricultural practices. Some of the key components of this program are the Trust's on-farm public tours and volunteer restoration events. In 2012 our Community Education program provided information to over 1,500 residents of the Puget Sound region through farm tours, community presentations, and volunteer stewardship events.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012 the PCC Farmland Trust Board of Directors adopted the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, which provides a new framework for our conservation work. We will continue to protect farmland across Washington State, but will focus our efforts in the Puyallup River Valley of Pierce County, and the Snoqualmie River Valley of King County. The Trust conserved two farm properties within these focus areas in 2012 — the 209-acre Jubilee Farm in Carnation and the 120-acre Reise Farm near Orting. Reise Farm is now the new home of a sustainable farm operation, and the total acreage of working land under the Trust’s protection grew to 1,169 acres.
Recently PCC Farmland Trust worked with community partners to host 109 community volunteers who reestablished 650 feet of a native riparian buffer along a tributary to the Carbon River, which feeds into the Puyallup River. This conservation buffer will not only enhance habitat for fish and other wildlife but will also improve the conservation values of the adjoining farm.
Our current conservation efforts are focused on saving Sturgeon farm which may be a key catalyst toward preserving farmland in concentration in the Puyallup Valley. The Trust actively juggles several in-progress conservation projects at all times – as each has its own logistics and timeline for completion. Sturgeon Farm has been at the front end of that pipeline for nearly three years while others have been completed or lost. We are in search of an organic food producer to purchase the farm, while also continuing to raise funds for a conservation easement. PCC Farmland Trust has the necessary partnerships and a proven track record to accomplish this project, and we hope you will join us.