AFT Teams with Puget Sound Partnership to Strengthen the Viability of Agriculture - American Farmland Trust

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AFT Teams with Puget Sound Partnership to Strengthen the Viability of Agriculture 

(Olympia, WA) American Farmland Trust has teamed with Puget Sound Partnership to form a partnership to prevent the conversion of farmland by supporting the long-term viability of agriculture, providing tools for local governments to better plan for agriculture, and developing policies to strengthen agricultural resilience.  

“Preserving working farmlands is a key objective of the Puget Sound recovery effort,” says Laura Vary, Monitoring Data Coordinator at the Puget Sound Partnership. “When we understand and support the basic needs of farmers, we can protect open spaces from development and achieve both Puget Sound recovery Vital Sign and farmland preservation goals.”  

Farmers support their communities by providing fresh food, supporting ecosystem services, and contributing to the local economy. In return, they should have a secure and stable livelihood. American Farmland Trust’s new project focuses on defining and prioritizing agriculture viability in the Puget Sound region. The outcomes of this effort will include a Puget Sound agricultural viability action plan, a toolkit for local governments, and indicators to measure progress implementing farmland preservation strategies. These products will be shaped by an advisory committee and informed by a survey of farmers, stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and a review of existing research and current county plans.  

“American Farmland Trust has long advocated for the integration of permanent farmland protection in local planning,” says Addie Candib, Pacific Northwest regional director for American Farmland Trust. “With this project, we’re taking it to the next level and developing tools that will help local governments focus not just on the land, but also on the viability of agricultural businesses and the vitality of the farmers that that steward the land.”  

Participants of the viability steering committee include representation from the Puget Sound Partnership, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Conservation Commission, conservation districts, county planners, agricultural service providers, and farmers.  


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.  

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Dani Madrone

Pacific Northwest Senior Policy and Planning Manager

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