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MiiR x Washington Farmland Trust

Rebecca Pape on

THE PARTNERSHIP: 

MiiR and Washington Farmland Trust (the Trust) have been in partnership since 2017. During that time, we have collaborated on a number of initiatives –– most notably, sponsoring the Trust’s fundraising and community building events. Starting in 2018, we began sponsoring the Trust’s annual gala The Barn Raiser, which pivoted to a virtual benefit concert, Love the Land, at the start of the pandemic. Our Seattle Flagship Cafe has hosted several of the Trust’s events, including a Regenerative Ag Investor Network happy hour in 2018, as well as staff retreats and partner events. In 2020, Executive Director Melissa Campbell was featured on MiiR’s Empowerful Podcast, speaking about the organization’s name change and growth of its land access program, Farm to Farmer.

 

Washington Sunflowers

Photo Credit: Kae-Lin Wang

MiiR is eager to help build community around the Trust’s mission and elevate the important work they are doing to protect vulnerable farmland, connect farmers to land opportunities and resources, and promote farming practices that improve soil, water, and habitat. We are proud to partner with Washington Farmland Trust as they work to create a more sustainable and resilient future for farming in our state.


THE SIGNIFICANCE: 

Local farms are essential to our daily lives. Investing in Washington farmland means healthy food for our children, thriving rural economies, and fertile, productive soil. Simply put: farms make our communities better.

 

Farmland Trust Washington Apples

 THE CHALLENGE:

The future of farming is threatened. Over the last four decades, some of Washington’s best soils have been irreversibly lost to development. In the next ten years, 70% of local growers will retire without a successor in place. New farmers face countless barriers to accessing land, from affordability to systemic racism and discrimination. As land prices skyrocket and climate change threatens our landscape, Washington Farmland Trust is working to protect farmland, support farmers, and chart a new path for the future of farming in our state.

      Photo Credit: Kae-Lin Wang 

 

PRIORITIES & INITIATIVES:

By protecting farmland, Washington Farmland Trust are creating a more sustainable and resilient future for our state. The Trust have multiple tools to achieve this future, which they use in different combinations depending on the context and needs of the community:

  1. Protection –– Threatened farmland sometimes needs direct intervention. The Trust use tools to ensure permanent protection of farmland, including acquisition of conservation easements and buying land outright.
  2. People –– To ensure the land the Trust protects is productive and cared for, they help connect farmers to land opportunities and resources. They also incentivize farming practices that improve soil, water, and habitat.
  3. Partnerships ––  The Trust convene with farmers, conservation agencies, Tribal representatives, local government, elected officials, and other community stakeholders to build strategies and broad support for regional farmland protection and access.

 



WASHINGTON FARMLAND TRUST’S VALUES:

 

Washington Farmland Trust Logo

At Washington Farmland Trust, our values guide everything we do.


This land is not our own. We respect the sovereignty of the Indigenous communities throughout Washington who are the first peoples of this place. We offer our deepest respect and gratitude to them — past, present, and future — for their enduring care of their shared lands and waterways.


Equity is essential. Every day, we work to address and confront the racism and bias that exist within ourselves, our workplace, our programs, and our field — striving to create a culture that is welcoming to all. We believe different voices, opinions, and lived experiences are central to achieving our mission, and that all people deserve equal access to land and farming.


Farmland benefits us all. Healthy farmland rebuilds soil, keeps water clean, supports habitat and biodiversity, and promotes climate resilience. Productive farms grow our food, bolster our economy, and connect us to the natural world.


Community-centered. We believe the communities we aim to serve are the experts when it comes to their unique challenges and needs. In everything we do, we promote a culture of feedback and learning that is responsive to individual’s perspectives and lived experiences.


Relationships > transactions. We invest in partnerships and the people behind them, leveraging our collective expertise, communities, and resources toward a shared vision. We research, ask for advice, consider roadblocks, and build trust before launching any effort. When we act, we do so with intention and humility. We are incremental and relentless in our pursuits.


Curiosity fuels connection. We explore new ways of working, thinking, and problem-solving and invest in education and training for our staff, skilling up to have difficult conversations. Though we work hard, we deeply value work-life balance, personal connection, and showing up for one another.

 

 

Farmland Trust Farmer Cutting Beet                                                                      Photo Credit: Audra Mulkern

 

Washington Squash Growing on Vine

Photo Credit: Kae-Lin Wang


 

 

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