The Future of Farming in the Methow Valley

The Future of Farming in the Methow Valley

Luv ur farmer sticker

February 14-15, 2024

Ecological and Economic Resilience in Local Agriculture:

a free two-part forum on agricultural issues facing Methow Valley farmers

Feb. 14, 7pm - Rural Changes: Building a Resilient Agricultural Future (open to the public)

Feb 15, 10am-2pm - Farmers' Forum: Practical Opportunities for a Resilient Farm (space limited; registration required; priority given to agriculturalists and local landowners/managers)

Details below.

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Photo by Alyssa Jumars

Rural Changes: Building a Resilient Agricultural Future

Wednesday, February 14, 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at the Winthrop Barn

Free, open to the public, all are welcome.

Sometimes you need to pivot...
As all farmers know, sometimes circumstances beyond your control cause a change of plans. But farmers are nothing if not adaptable! Senator Jon Tester was looking forward to being with us at the Barn on Wednesday, but as you’ve probably heard on national news, the planned Senate recess was delayed due to a pending vote. Senator Tester will not be able to make it to the Methow Valley in time for our event. We are still pleased to welcome author David Montgomery in person and we will have a special video recording from Senator Tester with the reflections that he had been intending to share from the stage at the Barn, including a short Q&A our staff will have with him. We’re planning on a wonderful evening to love our farmers and we hope you’ll join us.

Thursday’s Farmers’ Forum remains as planned, with all speakers confirmed.

We hope you'll join us in showing some love for the Methow Valley's farmers, ranchers, and other agriculturalists. Dig into agricultural topics with us at the Winthrop Barn, with Senator Jon Tester of Montana, the US Senate's only working farmer, and author/professor David Montgomery. This presentation is free and open to the public.


1) Senator Jon Tester – U.S. Senator, Montana farmer

Three-term U.S. Senator Jon Tester is a third-generation Montana farmer, a proud grandfather, and a former school teacher. Jon and his wife Sharla still farm the same land near the town of Big Sandy, Montana, that was homesteaded by Jon’s grandparents in 1912. Senator Tester will tell the story of his family farm and the choices they have made to adapt to a changing world and economy and will share his insights into what he sees for the future of farming.

2) David Montgomery – Professor, University of Washington, Earth and Space Sciences

David Montgomery is the author of the books What Your Food Ate, Growing A Revolution, The Hidden Half of Nature, Dirt, and others. Professor Montgomery will explore an inspiring vision in which agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems.

Volunteers needed: click HERE

1st Tues on the Farm Jumars
Photo by Alyssa Jumars

Farmers’ Forum: Practical Opportunities for a Resilient Farm

Thursday, February 15, 10am-2pm (doors open at 9:30am) at the Winthrop Barn

Free. Space limited; registration required. Preference given to active agriculturalists and agricultural land owners/managers in the Methow Valley. Local agriculturalists: please let us know by Feb. 5 if you plan to attend.

Other interested parties, please let us know if you'd like to attend. We will contact you after Feb. 5 if there is space available.


Whether you raise carrots or cows, you'll find relevant concepts in this forum. Key topics will include:

  • water efficiency/drought resilience
  • climate projections for the Methow Valley
  • crop selection for climate resilience
  • virtual fencing


1) David Granatstein, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, Emeritus, Washington State University (WSU)

2) Chad Kruger, Director of WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR)

3) Michael Brady, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist in the School of Economic Sciences, WSU

4) Troy Peters, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, WSU

5) Edd Townsend, Rancher, Board of Supervisors, Okanogan Conservation District

Click HERE for an agenda and schedule for the Farmers' Forum.

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