– From YES! Magazine:
“If There Are No New Farmers, Who Will Grow Our Food”
“Programs across the country are trying to make it easier for new farmers to get started and put down roots. Here’s why: There’s only one farmer under 35 for every six over 65. By 2030, one-quarter of America’s current farmers will retire.”
“About 40 miles southeast of Seattle, Abukar Haji surveys his beds of carrots, beans, collard greens, and romaine. Now in his third year with Seattle Tilth’s Farm Works incubator program, Haji has expanded his original one-eighth-acre plot to three-fourths of an acre and hopes to keep growing. A farmer in his native Somalia, Haji came to the United States five years ago and took a warehouse job until he learned about Farm Works at a local community center presentation. He now spends six days a week on the farm and is one of Farm Works’ top sellers in Seattle Tilth’s food hub, which distributes to its CSA, farmers markets, restaurants, and wholesalers,” quoting Kim Eckart, who wrote this article for How to Create a Culture of Good Health, the Winter 2016 issue of YES! Magazine. Kim is a Seattle-based writer and associate editor at YES! Magazine.
– South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) is our local farm treasure
“Help ensure that our farm families keep farming, and that our precious farmland stays farmland – forever.”
“South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFLT) is a membership based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving farmland and to keeping it farmed forever. Based in Olympia, WA, it concentrates on the areas south of Puget Sound. The organization consists of a working Board of Directors who contribute their commitment, skills and experience, a part time Grant Writer/Project Development Coordinator, several dozen volunteers, and a general membership of about 140.
Promoting vibrant local food and farming systems through community supported farmland preservation strategies, educational outreach, and partnerships that increase opportunities for farms and farmers to flourish.
“SSCFLT uses the Community Land Trust Model to secure fee title to farmland. The land is then leased to farmers with 99-year Agricultural Ground Leases that include limited equity provisions. Farmers are assured secure land tenure, and the land, with Land Trust oversight, remains in active farming forever. Farmers who have purchased or constructed housing and/or improvements on Land Trust leased land can capture a fair value return on those investments by selling these to the next farmer.”
Make it a family event for the Annual Meeting on Friday evening March 18 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, Swede Hall, 18543 Albany St SW, Rochester, WA 98579.