The South Sound FarmLink program keeps farmland in production in the South Sound region for generations to come so that it is affordable and accessible to all interested farmers.
Why South Sound FarmLink?
|Lease land to begin or expand your operation||Add value & reduce property taxes|
|Improve your operation with technical assistance||Support the future of agriculture in your community|
|Access financial planning & assistance programs||Benefit from leasing income|
Keep farmland in production.
How it works:
1. Fill out a TCD questionnaire. We encourage folks who are ready to take on a match in the next year to submit their application; if you’re not to that stage (i.e. don’t have a business plan, haven’t thought about financing etc.) feel free to contact us and share where you are at and we’re happy to connect you with resources. 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. We also recommend all participating in FarmLink check out our FarmLink specific resources page.
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.
“You have some of the best farm-link-esque programs I have seen in Western WA, and I deeply appreciate all the work you and your colleagues are doing. You’re true heroes!” – Rachel, FarmLink Participant
“Thanks again for all you’ve done and do, our next five years are secure because of your work, and for us this is everything.” – Maya at Little Big Farm
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. Conservation District staff work with landowners and farmers to help create agreements and navigate partnerships in order to keep farmland in production. South Sound FarmLink also puts on regular educational workshops to help farmers establish their operation and landowners plan for the future of their property.
According to a 2014 inventory of farmland, Thurston County has approximately 76,000 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 58 years old and 75% of farmland within 3 miles of developing urban areas, the pressures of development are great. Check out the Thurston Region Farmland Snapshot for more statistics.
Thankfully, there are options to protect the county’s productive and scenic farmland.
Check out Thurston CD’s podcast Conservation Starters. Check out the episode linked below to learn more about the FarmLink program and farmland preservation in the South Sound.
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.
Interested in learning more about South Sound Farmlink?
VCC Outreach and Farmland Access Intern
You can also use our contact form.