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Losing Ground: Farmland Protection in the Puget Sound Region

Snapshot of Washington Agriculture

Farming on the Edge: Washington Farmland in the Path of Development

Integrated Pest Management for Farmers on the Urban Edge

Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements

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The Apple as Planet Earth Presentation
The Apple As Planet Earth

Do you know how much of the earth is suitable for farming? Watch the video and learn why protecting our farmland is so important.

Planning for Agriculture in the Puget Sound Region
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Local elected officials, planners and food system advocates gathered in April 2013 for a conference on planning for the future of local farms and food in the Puget Sound region. The convening explored the wide range of planning and policy tools available to support and strengthen the region's local farm and food system. Leaders from throughout the U.S. presented what has worked in their communities.


Food and Farm Planning in the Delaware Valley Region
Alison Hastings, Manager of Office of Strategic Partnerships, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission DelewareValleyPresentation

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Alison Hastings, senior planner at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, discusses her work on food system planning in a nine-county planning area around Philadelphia. She has worked on a comprehensive assessment of the region’s agricultural resources, food distribution systems, food economy, and stakeholder interests. Alison has also developed tool and resource guides to encourage sustainable food production, improve healthy food access, support the local food economy, and minimize food waste in the region

Overview of Planning ToolsAFT PlanningToolsPresentation
Julia Freedgood, Managing Director of Farmland and Community Initiatives, American Farmland Trust

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Julia leads American Farmland Trust's national farmland protection and local food programs and manages the USDA/AFT Farmland Information Center. She discusses planning and policy tools for farmland protection, explains the local role in supporting a regional food economy, and presents the benefits of a healthy food and farm system.


Food and Farm Planning in Vermont
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund PlanninginVermontPresentation

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Ellen is Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, an organization that provides technical assistance, grant funding, loans, and market development expertise to support sustainable agriculture, forestry, and biofuels in the state. She oversaw the development of the Vermont Farm-to-Plate Strategic Plan, a statewide strategy to create farm jobs, improve economic production, and increase access to healthy local food. Ellen discusses the successes and challenges that Vermont has faced in moving towards a more sustainable food system.

Food and Farm Planning in Marin County
Steve Kinsey, County Supervisor, District 4, Marin County (CA) Board of SupervisorsPlanninginMarinCountyPresentation

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Marin County has been in the forefront of western communities in protecting farms and supporting local food for decades. Supervisor Steve Kinsey has been a leader of these efforts as a member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors and as a board member with the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. Together, the County and Trust have permanently protected half of the farmland in the county. Supervisor Kinsey discusses what has worked to protect farms, farmers and local food in Marin County

Breakout Sessions

Ag Zoning
Tim Trohimovich, Director of Planning and Law, Futurewise (Download Presentation)

What are the current zoning policies that affect agricultural production throughout the Puget Sound? What zoning strategies best benefit farmland and farmers? Presenters give an overview of land use regulations and designation strategies.

Strategies for Economic Development
Mary Embleton, Executive Director, Cascade Harvest Coalition (Download Presentation)
Emma Brewster, Northwest Agriculture Business Center (Download Presentation)

A healthy regional food system is dependent upon a strong local food economy. Presenters address economic development and diversification strategies – such as agritourism and value-added on-farm production – that support farmers and protect farmland.

Purchase and Transfer of Development Rights
Taylor Carroll, Markets Policy Director, Forterra (Download Presentation)
Ron Wesen, County Commissioner, District 1, Skagit County Board of Commissioners (Download Presentation)
Melissa Campbell, Conservation Director, PCC Farmland Trust (Download Presentation)

Presenters discuss elements of successful Purchase of Development Rights / Transfer of Development Rights programs, participation in existing programs, and current challenges. How can we expand the use of PDR/TDR as a farmland protection tool? What role do local governments, land trusts and nonprofits, and private businesses play?

Environmental Regulations and Agriculture
Kathy Creahan, Program Manager, King County Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks (Download Presentation)

How can meeting environmental regulations work to benefit both environmental and agricultural interests? Presenters discuss the unintended consequences of environmental regulations on farming operations, and how we can prioritize conservation efforts on farmland that result in multiple benefit outcomes.

Work Group Survey Results, July 2013 [PDF]

Contact Us

Pacific Northwest Office
Dennis Canty, Pacific Northwest States Director
1335 N. Northlake Way, Ste. 101
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 860-4222

American Farmland Trust