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Friday, January 29, 2016

Sustainable agriculture gains momentum in the Puyallup Valley | PCC Natural Markets

Sustainable agriculture gains momentum in the Puyallup Valley | PCC Natural Markets: Between 1997 and 2007, Pierce County lost nearly 23 percent of its farmland, much of it in the fertile Puyallup Valley. At this time, one quarter of the county's farmland was slated for development. With the announcement of these startling numbers, PCC Farmland Trust began working with partners in an effort to curb the conversion of some of the state's best farmland. About 2,000 acres were identified as top priority for conservation.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Farmland Trust invested $4.9 million to conserve 397 acres — 20 percent of the acreage identified in the long-term goal. Seven family farms on that land produce an array of products, including eggs, honey, herbs, vegetables, pork, poultry, beef, animal feed, berries and hay. They represent the shift back toward sustainable and diversified land management and continued celebration of local agriculture in the region. Across Pierce County, the total market value of agricultural products is $91 million — making farming a critical economic driver.