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Posted on: January 27, 2016

Milestone reached in Puyallup Valley farmland conservation

PCC Farmland Trust has announced that Puyallup Valley’s Shelstad Farm and Harman Farm are preserved in perpetuity, joining five other working farms in the area that have been conserved by the organization.

PCC Farmland Trust will celebrate the conservation of the two properties at an event on Friday, Jan. 29 at Shelstad Farm. The program begins at 9 a.m. and includes remarks from Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, local leaders, and farm owners. Attendants are encouraged to participate in a walking tour of the farms after the program.

The two recent conservation successes bring the organization’s goal of conserving 2,000 acres of prime farmland in the valley to a notable 20 percent completion mark.

The Trust’s Executive Director, Rebecca Sadinsky, said in a statement, “Together with Pierce County and our partners, we’ve created significant momentum for farmland conservation in the greater Puyallup Valley, ensuring that this deeply rooted agricultural community has a viable farming future for generations to come.”

Historically an abundant farming community, the Puyallup Valley is losing farmland at a rapid rate. From 1997 to 2007, Pierce County lost 23% of its farmland—much of it in the valley—to development and other land use needs. This means decreased capacity for production when consumers are increasingly buying local to support their local economies and shrink their carbon footprints.

“We are proud to say that our land will continue to thrive within a community of sustainable farmers that are strengthening our local food system,” said Kim Shelstad, owner of Shelstad Farm.

PCC Farmland Trust has worked in collaboration with Pierce County, Pierce Conservation District and Forterra since 2009 to advance farmland preservation efforts. The organization secures, preserves, and stewards threatened farmland in Washington, ensuring generations of sustainable family farms.

“Our farmland is an integral part of what makes Pierce County a place where people want to live, work and play,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We’re thrilled to partner with PCC Farmland and our local farmers to protect this valuable asset.”

Visit the PCC Farmland Trust website for more information. Shelstad Farm is located at 14523 168th St. E. in Orting.

Ryan Dicks, Pierce County Sustainability Manager
[email protected]

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