Elected Position #3
Richard Mankamyer has been in and around farming all of his life. He grew up on an organic family farm where he milked cows by hand, made butter and cheese and drank the cows’ raw milk. In addition, he also raised beef cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and rabbits along with work and riding horses.
The family farm raised most of the feed and hay for the animals like corn, wheat, oats and hay, mostly alfalfa. He always had a big garden, as the designated family gardener, and sold some items to neighbors.
This early introduction to a more self-sufficient farming oriented lifestyle and continued interest, in the overall working of agriculture, farmland preservation, Regenerative Farm Planning and conservation is the short version of how he ended up at the Thurston Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors.
Richard already was a member of the Thurston County Agriculture Advisory Committee, which lead to wanting to do more for Thurston County Agriculture.
He has experience managing, supervising various business operations, having been involved in natural foods distribution, preparedness planning ventures, various church, civic organizations and businesses, and has been a former US Army Military Officer.
Currently, he raises beef cows, chickens and ducks and is into organic farming, green house organic farming and the farm team has one of the few commercial Aquaponics facilities in the area. The farm team sells locally at the Yelm Farmers Market, Yelm Coop and several local restaurants.
As the climate is changing, many new challenges are developing to current agriculture practices. Just being sustainable may not be enough in a rapidly changing climate. Regenerative Farming/Gardening/Agriculture practices will need to be implemented to truly move into the future, where we can feed ourselves locally with healthy food, have clean water to drink and reduce overall pollution.
The Thurston Conservation District has many awesome programs available to assist county residents and Richard looks forward in helping to reach the Mission and Vision of the Thurston Conservation District through networking, working with various partners to continually bring our county into a better future.
Richard has recently, mid 2016, completed the Regrarians Platform of Regenerative Farm Planning and has taken courses in Aquaponics and Indoor Farming. He also has attended the classes offered by the Thurston Conservation District.