Supporting Local Agriculture

We have worked with willing landowners to protect more than 1,700 acres of irrigated farmland and another 1,700 acres of open rangeland in the Methow from Pateros to Mazama.

We know that our protection of agricultural lands, however, is only as successful as there are future farmers, ranchers, and orchardists to take over working these landscapes. Simply protecting farmland from development may not be enough to ensure a vibrant, viable future for the Valley’s farmers.

In 2017, we launched an Agricultural Program, hiring local farmer Alyssa Jumars to join our staff part-time. Alyssa has been working to better understand the needs of our local farms and ranches and exploring creative ways in which the Methow Conservancy can offer meaningful support to our farming community.

Here are just a few of the ways we support local farms and farmers:

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Wild Plum Farm by Rachelle Weymuller

Online Directory of Active Methow Farms
Looking for ways to source more farm-grown products? Check out our Methow Grown webpage with a comprehensive list of active Methow farms, whose products are available through a variety of retail outlets, or directly off the farm. Product offerings are delicious and diverse: including local meats, eggs, honey, grains, veggies, fruits, fiber, milk, cheese, and a variety of value-added products.

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Willowbrook Farm by Sasha Swerdloff

Matchmaking Methow Farmers and Landowners
Access to affordable farmland in the Methow Valley is a struggle for our local farmers. And like most challenges, our producers tackle this one creatively. Many of our Methow farmers and ranchers don’t aspire to own all of the land they work. Instead, they often own a core farmstead, reaching out from there and creating a patchwork of formal or informal lease arrangements on lands nearby.

We see a real and tangible opportunity to help our local farmers expand and strengthen their patchworks of working land. We are building a database of willing landowners who would like to explore the possibility of actively supporting a local farmer and strengthening our valley’s foodshed. If you are such a landowner, we encourage you to let us know via this quick info form or to contact Alyssa directly.

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Learning About Soil Health by Mary Kiesau

Tailored Workshops for Farmers
We are working to create ongoing opportunities for Methow Valley farmers to access farm-specific resources and technical expertise. To date, we have organized workshops about on-farm conservation resources, soil fertility, and direct marketing. We look forward to working closely with local producers to develop high-quality and highly-relevant workshop content in the future.

Join us and choose a future for the Methow Valley that includes healthy wildlife habitat, thriving agriculture, and a connected community.

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