Did you know that, according to a 2009 inventory of farmland, Thurston County has approximately 68,000 acres of farmland? From the rich, fertile Independence Valley to the rolling pastures of Smith Prairie, farmland accounts for about 1 out of every 7 acres in the county! This land is owned and managed by private land owners and entities that play a large role in managing the health of our shared natural resources. However, farmland in Thurston County is at long-term risk of being developed for non-agricultural uses. With the median age of farmers at 57 years old and 75% of farmland within 3 miles of developing urban areas, the pressures of development are great. Thankfully, there are options to protect the county’s productive and scenic farmland.
The mission of our South Sound FarmLink program is to keep farmland in production in the South Sound region for generations to come in such a way that is affordable and accessible to all interested farmers.
South Sound FarmLink connects farmers and landowners to: local resources, technical and financial assistance, and most importantly each other. Through our farmland leasing database, farmers looking for land have access to landowners with land for lease or purchase. Along with land listings in our database, South Sound FarmLink puts on regular educational workshops and presentations to help farmers establish their operation and landowners plan for the future of their property.
Why South Sound Farmlink?
How it works:
1. Click on the word below that describes you and fill out the questionnaire. The more information we have, the better the farmer-landowner match that we can facilitate.
2. Results will be reviewed regularly for potential matches. Farmer and landowner will be contacted to discuss options and make arrangements for a visit. Farmers may also request information on the farms listed on the map below.
3. Lease and purchase agreements will be made solely through the parties involved. Thurston Conservation District staff are available to facilitate conversations, provide lease templates, and answer questions.
For more information, contact:
(360)754-3588, ext. 105
South Sound FarmLink Listings
Click on purple farm icons for more information about potential farmland opportunities. When inquiring about a specific opportunity, please note the 4-digit farm number for our reference.
Click on yellow flower icons to learn a bit more about local community gardens where members of those communities are invited to grow their own food.
To sign up for the South Sound FarmLink Program or request more information on an opportunity listed here, please contact Nora White at email@example.com or (360)754-3588, ext. 105
DISCLAIMER: Farm locations indicated on the map are generalized to protect the privacy of our participants.
Business Planning Tools
- Business Plan (PA FarmLink) An example of what to include in a business plan.
- Operating Agreement (PA FarmLink) This is often used as an intermediate arrangement between a wage arrangement and a partnership or corporation.
- Professional Checklist (PA FarmLink) What you need when you meet with professionals.
- Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate – (Iowa State University Extension, 2009) This document explains how to determine what to charge for renting cropland, and illustrates examples for calculating rental rates.
- The Farmers Guide to Agricultural Credit – (Rural Advancement Foundation International, 2006) This extensive guide provides answers to questions about agricultural credit and financing.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Planning for Long-Term Health Care – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension covers planning for long-term health care, including Medicaid eligibility, exemption and disqualification; and long-term care insurance.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Powers of Attorney – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension examines the importance of establishing power of attorney as part of any estate planning effort.
- Toolbox for Leasing Farmland – (Land For Good) A host of resources if leasing is the best option for you. Tools for both short-term and long-term lease agreements. Includes lease templates
Succession Planning Tools
- Planning The Future Of Your Farm A workbook for farmers who want to transfer their operation to the next generation and/or keep it in production. *Spanish Language copies available upon request*
Legal Issues and Structures
- Farm Rental Agreement Checklist – (Ohio State University Extension, 2001) This document provides a good, brief list about the provisions that should go into a farm rental agreement.
- Lease Agreement Guide for Landowners and Farmers – (University of Vermont Extension, 2002) This is a clear guide to lease agreements, and includes easy-to-understand steps and considerations for both parties in lease agreements.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Advance Medical Directives – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension outlines advanced medical directives (also known as “living wills”), and includes suggestions for drafting these directives in Virginia.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- An Introduction to Trusts – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of trusts, and how and why these trusts should be used.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Love, Marriage and Divorce – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of the rights of spouses in property upon divorce, and how to take the possibility of divorce into consideration when developing a farm transition strategy.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Probate and the Probate Process – (Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension provides an overview of the probate process used to settle the estate of those that have died, both with or without a will.
- Managing Prosperity: Estate and Retirement Planning for All Ages- Rights of Surviving Spouses and Children –(Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2009) This publication from Virginia Cooperative Extension outlines the rights that surviving spouses and children have in Virginia when they perceive that the deceased failed to adequately provide for them.
- Ownership Structures for Your Farm or Ranch: Some Basic Considerations – (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) This document describes the various ownership structures used to manage a farm business operation.
- Risk Management Checklist – (United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency) This document provides information to farmers to help them evaluation their exposure to risk.
USDA Agricultural Census Data
- 2007 USDA Ag Census – Washington
- Washington Agricultural Overview
- WA State National Agricultural Statistics Service
Farm Tax Information
Disclaimer: Individuals submitting either form must agree to the following by checking the final box of the questionnaire.
By submitting this form, I/we agree that the South Sound FarmLink program offered by the Thurston Conservation District is for the purposes of collecting data on farmland seekers and landowners in order to create dialogue between the two parties, solely for farmland purchasing, leasing, or other agriculture related agreements. These agreements are the sole responsibility of the farmland seeker and landowner and shall not bind the Thurston Conservation District, or its partners, or Thurston County to any “linking” contract between the two parties. I/we agree to hold Thurston Conservation District and Thurston County harmless from any and all claims and lawsuits relating to the South Sound FarmLink program.
Additionally, I/we certify that the information provided and statements made are accurate and true to the best of my/our knowledge. This information is provided solely for the purpose of participating in the FarmLink program.
I/we hereby give permission to the South Sound FarmLink program, operated by Thurston Conservation District and its stated partners, to release my/our name, contact information, and any other pertinent information detailed above to interested landowners or potential farm operating partners for the sole purpose of discussing opportunities for farmland linking.