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Farm King County

News & Updates

Cultivating Success: Growing Farmers for the Future

Gain the knowledge necessary to start or continue farming sustainably and successfully

Interested in farming? Not sure how to begin? Do you dream of beginning or expanding your own small farm? The Cultivating Success™ series of courses combines workshop and on-farm learning experiences to help foster the success of new and existing farms and agri-ventures. Cultivating Success helps participants explore the unique advantages available to the small and mid-size farm.

Join us for the first course in the series, Sustainable Small-Acreage Farming and Ranching to be held on Mondays, 5:30pm to 8:30pm, September 18 through December 4, 2017 plus an all-day Saturday farm field trip. New this fall, the course will be offered in two central Puget Sound locations, Renton and Stanwood. We’ll be using web technology to take advantage of speakers and facilitators in both locations.

Weekly presentations include local growers, organizations, and agriculture professionals with expertise in direct marketing, value-added processing, production planning, agronomy, livestock production, and more.

Sponsored in a collaborative effort with WSU Snohomish County Extension, Snohomish Conservation District, WSU King County Extension, King Conservation District, and King County, Cultivating Success provides students with the tools necessary to create/develop/expand a sustainable farm operation.

Class size is limited and pre-paid registration is required. Cost for the twelve-week course is $300 per farm or family (up to three people). Register online or download the form and mail with your check.

New!! You may be able to use AmeriCorps Awards to help pay registration costs. Please check with your award administrator for details on how to apply. For questions on using AmeriCorps Awards for WSU Extension’s Cultivating Success courses, contact Kevin Wright, WSU King County Extension Director, (206) 263-1917.

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 a number of 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.

For more information on the Cultivating Success courses, visit snohomish.wsu.edu/SSFAR, contact Holly Small, or Kate Ryan, (425) 357-6024.

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

As part of its Regional Food System Program, King Conservation District (KCD) will be soliciting Request for Proposals (RFPs) this fall 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.

See more details

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

Managing On The Farm: Building a Team That Works, Nov. 6, 2017 Carnation

Access to Capital for U.S. Veterans, Minorities, and New and Beginning Farmers and Food Businesses, Nove. 8, 2017, Anacortes

Tilth Conference, Nov. 10 – 12, Vancouver

2017 Women in Ag Conference, Nov. 18, 2017, 39 locations in the NW

Farm Tour: Get Ready for a Mud Free Winter, Sat, Nov. 4, 2017, Redmond

CINA Cider & Perry Production: Science & Practice, Nov. 27 — Dec. 1, 2017. This is an advanced production class.

Tilth Conference, Nov. 10 — 12, Vancouver

Westside Pasture Calendar Training 2017, Dec. 5 – 8

Cascadia Grains Conference 2018, Jan. 19 – 20