Skip to main content
Farm King County

News & Updates

Apply for Tilth Alliance's Farm Business Incubator

Did you know that Tilth Alliance provides farm business training and support to farmers developing new farm businesses in the Seattle-Tacoma region?

Applications for this year's sustainable farming education program are currently being accepted. Apply online by Feb. 5!

Participants take part in nine months of classes focusing on sustainable agricultural production, business planning, land access and more while also gaining hands-on experience through working days and tours of local farms.

After completing the course, participants receive ongoing support around production, land access, marketing and business development through one-on-one technical assistance, site visits, resource referral, advocacy and ongoing educational workshops.

The Cultivating Success course info and Regional Food System Strategic Initiative Grant RFPs in Winter 2017 can be deleted. Both have graphics on the carrousel that should be removed.

Cultivating Success course

Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning to help new and current farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing. The course runs Monday evenings January 8, 2018 through March 12, 2018

‘Buying local' seems to be on everyone's list of resolutions. The popularity of keeping dollars in local circulation is gaining momentum. For farmers, capturing a larger share of this trend is crucial to growth and longevity. New farmers must look at their farm like any new business venture, while existing operations must carefully evaluate how any changes can affect land, labor, capital, resources, and profitability.

WSU Snohomish and King County Extension in partnership with King & Snohomish Conservation Districts will offer Cultivating Success: Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Farm Business Planning to help new and current farmers gain skills in business planning and direct marketing.

The course runs Monday evenings January 8, 2018 through March 12, 2018, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We'll be using web technology to simulcast the course between two Puget Sound locations so more students can participate closer to home. The two locations are Stanwood and Renton, WA.

The course features a full line-up of local guest speakers including bankers, business professionals, and successful farm owners with a special emphasis on the financial and legal issues unique to farm-based businesses. During the course, participants are guided in developing a business plan they can use to help finance and guide a new enterprise or expand an existing farm-based business.

Comments from recent graduates include, "The unique opportunity to meet fellow successful farmers and business mentors is one of a kind." "By the end of the course I had a farm business plan that I could take to the bank." and "The opportunity to evaluate my enterprise and make informed decisions is invaluable, after all the best place to make mistakes is on paper."

Our course facilitator is Holly Small, a local agriculture teacher and small farmer. Small has been leading, developing, and expanding the Cultivating Success series since 2009 to excellent reviews. During that time, she's become a go-to authority for local farms and farmers looking to expand opportunities and production while developing a long-term sustainable operation. Small is a WSU graduate in animal science and agriculture economics with an MS in agriculture education. In addition, she spent several years working for Northwest Farm Credit Services as a loan officer and the Nestle Regional Training Center at Carnation Farm as their public relations and conference center manager.

Class size is limited and usually fills quickly. Pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $300 for either location. To register, visit or download the form and mail with your check. For more information on the course, contact Kate Ryan, (425) 357-6024.

2018 Tilth and Humanlinks Foundation Farm Grants

In partnership with HumanLinks Foundation, Tilth Alliance is accepting applications by farmers seeking financial assistance to support projects that will improve the economic viability, social impacts or environmental sustainability of their farm businesses. The goal of this grant program is to enhance the operations of farmers practicing responsible and progressive methods such as sustainable soil management, crop diversification, habitat preservation, climate change mitigation and environmentally-safe waste management practices.

King Conservation District to release Regional Food System Strategic Initiative Grant RFPs in Winter 2017

As part of its Regional Food System Program, King Conservation District (KCD) will be soliciting Request for Qualifications (RFQs) this winter to provide targeted investments intended to address key food system issues identified through broad stakeholder outreach and input of the Regional Food System Program Advisory Committee Working Group. The topic areas include:

In late 2016 and early 2017, KCD staff actively engaged with regional planning efforts of the King County Kitchen Cabinet, and sought out and received input from over 50 food system practitioners on priority needs for a robust and comprehensive regional food economy. Working with our Advisory Committee Working Group, we identified four strategic initiative funding areas that address multiple stakeholder needs, and leverage stakeholder input for greater impact.

Farmers, residents, fish and wildlife win in historic Snoqualmie Fish, Farm and Flood accord

King County Executive Dow Constantine today thanked Snoqualmie Valley farmers, residents and fish and wildlife advocates for achieving a landmark agreement balancing reduced flood risk to people and property, strengthening salmon populations, and growing a prosperous farming community.

Introducing The 2017 Value of Census

If you produce or grow any agricultural products, including field crops, fruits, vegetables, floriculture and livestock, regardless of the size of your operation, you should fill out the 2017 Census of Agriculture form.

Remember the Census of Agriculture is Your Voice, Your Future, Your Opportunity.

Cruise Provisioning

Sharing local products with cruise ship passengers is a huge opportunity. Seattle brings in so many visitors each year, it really helps sustain many local businesses.

Organic Farming Research Foundation educational guides

Organic Farming Research Foundation has published a new series of educational guides designed to help organic farmers and ranchers enhance the soil health and overall resilience of their operations. These guides to practical organic soil health management will assist farmers in selecting the best practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way toward more sustainable agricultural systems

The first three guides in the series are now available to download free of charge. The remaining four guides will be released over the coming weeks. This summer, a limited number of printed copies will be available upon request. The complete series includes:

Now available:

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Building Organic Matter for Healthy Soils: An Overview
A discussion of the attributes of healthy soil, the central role of organic matter, and how to monitor and enhance soil organic matter and soil health in organic production.

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Weed Management: An Ecological Approach
An ecological approach to integrated weed management tools that reduce the need for soil disturbance.

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Practical Conservation Tillage
The impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems.

Coming soon:

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Cover Crops: Selection and Management
Selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity.

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection
Plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including potential benefits to soil biology and soil health.

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Water Management and Water Quality
The role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality.

Soil Health and Organic Farming
Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil, and the Environment
The role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems.

USDA Unveils New ‘Urban Agriculture Toolkit' for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs

The face of agriculture is changing, and urban agriculture is one of the latest movements to challenge the traditional view of farming. From rooftop gardens to aquaponics centers in old warehouses to growing crops on abandoned properties, urban agriculture provides many benefits to a community, including closer neighborhood ties, reduced crime, education and job training opportunities, and healthy food access for low-income residents. Download the toolkit.

Poultry Processing Equipment Available for Rent

King Conservation District provides low-cost rental of equipment for small-scale producers to safely process poultry for home consumption, or to slaughter poultry for direct marketing with a WSDA permit. At this time no other poultry processing equipment is available for rent in King County. The KCD project helps producers fill the demand for locally-grown chicken, turkey, and other poultry.

KCD rental equipment is provided in partnership with the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), which manages online scheduling, and Grange Supply in Issaquah, which serves as the pick-up and drop-off location.

Food Safety Modernization Act Resources.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

Upcoming Events

Country Living Expo & Cattlemen's Winterschool, Jan. 27

Putting Your Land to Work : Resources for Landowners in King County, Feb. 1

Livestock Guardian Dogs Are they the right predator control for my farm?, Kent, Feb. 1

Small Business Resource Fair for Farms, Seattle, Feb. 5

Snoqualmie Valley 8th Annual Seed Exchange, Feb. 10

Food Ingredient Technology Course, SeaTac, Feb. 28

March Potluck and Talk: Interpreting Soil Tests and Approaches to Long Term Nutrient Management, Mar. 12