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Pathways Forward for WA Agriculture

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Pathways Forward for WA Agriculture

Agricultural Commoning - Rethinking Farmland Access in WA State

  • Addie Candib, American Farmland Trust; Rhys-Thorvald Hansen, Agrarian Trust
  • We are in the midst of 400 million acres of U.S. land changing hands as thousands of farmers and ranchers retire, yet next generation farmers struggle to access land. Innovative models of ownership and stewardship are needed to support the next generation, heal the land, and grow food sustainably. This workshop will begin with a presentation sharing the growing movements in agricultural commons both nationally and locally, with a focus on Puget Sound Agrarian Commons and the Gardner Farm opportunity on Whidbey Island.

Rebuilding the Washington Organic Voice: Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture

  • What does it take to create a diverse, unified and effective voice for organic in Washington? Learn about the work being done to build a new advocacy coalition whose purpose is to advocate for public policies and programs that support the broad adoption and utilization of organic and regenerative growing practices.

Resilience in WA Agriculture: What Can We Learn from COVID?



  • Sarah Collier, University of Washington
  • Over the course of 2020 and 2021 farms and ranches in Washington experienced numerous impacts and adapted to COVID-19 in myriad ways. This presentation will synthesize the results of surveys and interviews conducted during the course of the pandemic, including what is known about what types of impacts were most significant, what types of adaptations were most prevalent, how different farm characteristics may have contributed to food system resilience in different ways, and how lessons learned may be put to use in the future. Farms in Washington are diverse, and the experiences of farmers were equally diverse.

Farm Policy for the People: What You Need to Know to Advocate for a Better Food System





  • Eric Deeble, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Katherine Un, National Young Farmers Coalition
  • What is the farm bill? How can you put farm bill programs to work on your farm? How can you advocate for federal policy that builds a more just and sustainable future for agriculture? Come join the conversation, get up to speed on the basics of federal farm policy, unpack some of the structural racism baked into the farm bill, and get ready to work for change!

Harvesting Wisdom and Planting Seeds of Renewal





  • Thea Maria Carlson
  • As we head into the season of cold and darkness, our bodies, minds, and spirits are naturally inclined to let go of what’s no longer needed and turn inward to rest, reflect, and dream of what’s possible for the future. In this interactive session, we will collectively harvest the insights and questions that have emerged through this conference and all that we have experienced in the past year, and find seeds of inspiration and innovation to plant for vitality and renewal in the year ahead.

Agroecology: Defining a Science, Practice, and Social Movement





  • Shanelle Donaldson, University District Food Bank Rooftop Roots & Percussion Farms; Community Alliance for Global Justice; Masra Clamoungou, Small Axe Farms & Black Farmers Collective; Anthony Reyes, 21 Acres
  • Agroecology is understood as a science, practice, and social movement that “values all forms of knowledge and experience in food system change” (Gliessman, 2018) and is heavily influenced by an individual’s narrative and positionality. To that end the most important question to ask when defining agroecology is “to whom?” We will delve into this concept hearing from three different voices and perspectives on agroecology, defining what the concept means to them, what these systems look like, and how it shows up in their work and/ or life. Through dialog and conversation, we will gain a greater understanding of the complexities of agroecology and develop a framework to explore what agroecology means to each of us. 
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