On Tuesday, March 10, the Sustainable Farms and Fields bill (SB 5947) passed the Washington State legislature! The Senate accepted the amendments that were made in the House with an overwhelming bipartisan majority (63-6).

We are thrilled that many stakeholders in the agriculture sector came to the table to improve the bill and provide resources that farmers need to lead on climate. The collaborative efforts that led to the passage of Sustainable Farms and Fields is a powerful example of the type of state-wide engagement that is possible and needed to move Washington State to net zero emissions.

We are grateful for the partnership of the 115 farms and organizations that signed onto the letter of support for the Sustainable Farms & Fields grant program. Click on the following links to find out more about a few of these farms: Spoon Full Farm, Living Heritage Farms, and Klickitat Canyon Winery. Thank you to all of you for connecting us to farmers in your network and amplifying farmers’ voices by continuing to contact your legislators. Your calls and emails make a difference!

We want to specifically recognize the incredible efforts of volunteers like Melinda McBride, Pauline Druffel, Pat Rasmussen, Warren Neth, and the Carbon Washington advocacy team. Megan Conaway, Cecilia Mirabile, and Matt Stidham promoted grassroots action. Jim Baird, Penny Dex, Jake Stewart, Warren Shoemaker, Lisa Hasselman, Joel Hansen, Steve Ghan, Margaret Homerding, Melissa Spear, and Phyllis Farrell made the trip to Olympia to give powerful testimony at the public hearing. Organizational partners worked to improve the bill and advocate for its passage, including Audubon Washington, The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Farm Bureau, Washington State Dairy Federation, Washington Young Farmers Coalition, Tilth Alliance, Northwest Farmers Union, Faith Action Network, and many others. Thank you!

What’s next?

Once the governor signs the bill, the Conservation Commission will begin the grant design process in consultation with the Washington State Agriculture Department, Washington State University, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. We anticipate that the budget will only include enough funding to stand up the grant program and that we will need to ask the legislature to fully fund the grant program in the 2021 legislative session.

Help us continue the work to secure funding for the full Sustainable Farms and Fields grant program in 2021 by donating today!

Thank you for your advocacy and support,

Noa Kay
Sustainable Farms Campaign Manager

Note that regular donations through the above links and the CarbonWA website support a political action fund that is not tax deductible.

If you wish to make a tax-deductible gift to the Carbon Washington Foundation to support non-political outreach, education, and research, you can do so here.

Photo: Native plants are used as ground cover at Klickitat Canyon Winery, one of the farms that supported Sustainable Farms and Fields