July 2019

CarbonWA’s Sustainable Farm Campaign is Growing & Hiring!

If you were following along last winter and spring, you might have seen the we were busy supporting and influencing a myriad of climate bills including SB 5947, a sustainable farming bill. CarbonWA helped construct SB 5947 and spearheaded the campaign for its passage. With bipartisan support, led by Senators McCoy (D) and Schoesler (R), testimony from many in the farming community, and a well designed bill, it sailed through the Senate in just 17 days. However, after passing the Senate the bill stalled in the House when Democrats and committee Chair Brian Blake declined to advance the bill (in part due to concerns raised by the Farm Bureau and the Potato Commission). Much hay has been made over potential ties between the Farm Bureau and the fossil fuel industry in recent research, which may have been a factor.

To get the bill over the finish line, we are launching an interim campaign designed to cultivate and grow interest among farmers and rural communities, while collecting input to strengthen and improve the bill for 2020’s legislative session. We are also hiring a campaign manager to spearhead our work to build support and awareness in the farming community. (Thanks to all whose donations have made this possible.) You can help by:

1) Sharing the job description with potential candidates who have political experience and farming ties.

2) Making a donation (click here) to our sustainable farms effort.

3) Connecting us with farmers who may want to provide input, learn more, or support this campaign (send inquiries to info@carbonwa.org).

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In Washington State, rural communities are often the hardest hit by climate change impacts like wildfire, flooding, drought, pests, and other harms to natural resources. Rural economies can also potentially benefit from climate change solutions that create market-based systems to reward practices that sequester carbon in the soil and reduce carbon pollution. This potential has been neglected by many groups that focus on climate change.

Agriculture accounts for roughly 7% of Washington’s direct greenhouse gas emissions. However, farmers can adopt proven technologies and practices that completely offset those emissions and more, by sequestering carbon in soil and forest while producing valuable economic outputs in food, feed and materials.  The 2019 Washington State Legislature explored the creation of a grant program, spearheaded in part by Carbon Washington, to fund agricultural practices that reduce climate pollution and sequester more carbon in trees and soil. That program generated bipartisan sponsorship and broad interest. 

The sustainable farms campaign will harness the potential to advance sustainable agriculture practices to increase their usage and create momentum for statewide policy action to encourage sustainable farming while exploring interest in similar policies for forested landscapes.

The sustainable farming campaign manager will oversee and execute a statewide campaign of outreach, education and advocacy on behalf of sustainable farming practices.

Read the job description.