Promoting Sustainability in East Jefferson County, WA
After spending a few years supporting the growth of Community Gardens in Jefferson County, members of Citizens for Local Food (at the time called the Food Resiliency Action Group, FRAG) grew concerned that further efforts to engage people in growing their own food had the potential to undermine the financial viability of local farmer’s livelihoods.
Coincidentally, in March 2011, the Jefferson County Planning Commission requested a presentation by Katherine Baril (recently retired Director of WSU Jefferson County Cooperative Extension) on local food and farm realities. Many FRAG members were in attendance, there.
What followed was a desire on the part of the planning commissioners to consider changes to the County’s comprehensive plan to help preserve farm land and support local farmers. To inform and strengthen that interest, an ad hoc group, comprised of Food Resiliency Action Group members and additional south county citizens, formed, and FRAG took on its new name: Citizens For Local Food (CLF). As one of 4 initial goals, CLF decided to initiate a comprehensive Jefferson County Farm Survey.
From 2011, until its public release two years later in 2013, the committee worked on designing, implementing, analyzing, and ultimately producing a 50-page comprehensive Farm Survey, interviewing upwards of 60 farmers on their farms while guaranteeing the anonymity of their responses, making it all a more reliable source of information. This survey was provided, free of charge, to the County Planning Commissioners, multiple other government bodies, agencies, non-profits, libraries, and elsewhere, around Jefferson County.
This Jefferson County Farm Survey is what follows:
2012 Jeff County Farmer Survey