PCC Farmland Trust Programs
PCC Farmland Trust helps create thriving agricultural economies, farming communities, and a locally-produced diversity of healthy foods through three programs: Future Farms, Farms Stewardship, and Community Education.
The Future Farms program captures the Trust's primary mission – preserving organic farmland forever. This includes identifying, evaluating and prioritizing conservation projects; working with current landowners; finding new farmland owner/operators; and developing and refining the Trust’s farmland conservation tools. The Trust uses agricultural conservation easements, as well as outright purchase to remove development potential on prime farmlands.
Stewardship is the long term land caretaking function of the Trust, and includes: enforcement of environmental and organic farming goals spelled out in either a conservation easement or lease; assistance to farm operators to meet those goals; and community volunteer work parties to install and restore habitat buffers to separate valued natural resources, particularly natural waterways, from farming activities. For the Farmland Trust there is an additional stewardship measure, best practice, and goal: keep all the Trust acres in active farming and farmed by food producers employing environmentally sustainable and organic practices.
Our Community Education program is a collection of activities aimed at expanding public understanding of the values of and threats to local, family farming. Activities include farmer-led public farm tours, seasonal chef/farmer collaborative dinners, and on-the-farm workshops to learn about the ecosystems supported by environmentally sustainable farm businesses.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The goal of stewardship for every land trust is continuous protection of the natural resources that have been conserved. The Land Trust Alliance provides standards and an accreditation program to back up those standards. PCC Farmland Trust recently earned accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance and is proud to have stewardship and conservation programs that are recognized as employing best practices.
Our Director, Rebecca Sadinsky: “Accreditation is important to us as it recognizes our proficiency in the critical work of conserving Washington State’s organic farmlands for future generations. By earning the LTA seal, we will be ensuring our commitment to our community, and be honored to join a team of excellent professionals in the national field of land conservation.”
As the Trust conserves more farmland, our stewardship responsibilities continue to increase, particularly for properties owned outright. Sometimes farmland needs to be carefully nourished back to health and productivity once it has been conserved. For each acre of farmland we preserve, we have a detailed stewardship plan that includes opportunities for ecological improvements. We engage farmers, partners, and volunteers in projects that replace invasive species with native plants to promote habitat diversity, establish buffers to separate farming activities from natural waterways, and plant cover crops to enrich soil fertility. The more than $250,000 donor dollars we spend each year on stewardship and restoration is a long term investment, to ensure that working lands and nearby wildlife habitat can both flourish, forever. We are grateful to our supporters for helping foster a regional food system that protects the environment we all depend on.