Washington State University

Small Farms Team

Farm to Table

Federal support
University support
State support
Private industry
Green certification
Publications

Federal support

Small Farms @USDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State, Research, Education, and Extension Service. This site describes the extensive array of programs available to to help small farmers all across the the United States.

" As small farms and farmworkers succeed in this nurturing environment, not only will they continue their valuable contribution to the Nation's food supply, but they will also fuel local economies and energize rural communities all across America" From: A Time to Act, the USDA's 1998 National Commission of Small Farms

University support

Small Farm Center, University of California. This is one of the premier sites for assistance. Useful for Northwest growers.

Making a Living on a Small Farm, 2000, John Ikerd, Extension Economist, University of Missouri. A wonderful essay on how the new small farmer can survive on rural acreage.

Attracting Consumers with Locally Grown Products. Seventy-six page survey by the North Central Initiative for Small Farm Profitability, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, that examined the buying habits of midwest consumers toward locally grown produce and meats. October 2001.

Farmers’ share is shrinking, but consumers can call the shots, Steven M. Garrett, August 19, 2001, Tacoma News Tribune.

Growing Close to Home, Charles O'Dell, Virginia Tech University, May, 2000. A farmer success story from Western Fruit Grower magazine describing how Virginia growers were able to convince local supermarkets to carry local produce in season, at a price growers could live with. This might work in the Northwest.

State support

Washington State Department of Agriculture, Olympia, WA. Look to WSDA for marketing assistance, pesticide registrations, the organic certification program, as well as many very useful services

Private industry

The New Food Revolution, by Roger Downy, the Seattle Weekly. A very good over-view of how small farms can prosper in the Pacific Northwest. Oct. 3, 2002,

Healthy Farms, Healthy Kids: Evaluating the Barriers and Opportunities for Farm-to-School Programs explores in-depth the opportunities and barriers related to school food services purchasing food from local farmers.

Green certification

Emerging Ecolabels for Food Products, by David Granatstein, Washington State university Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Wenatchee, a 4-page PDF document outlining the issue of eco-labels. 2002.

Consumer’s appetite for eco-friendly food grows, Michelle Cole, The Oregonian Newspaper, April 21, 2001

Food Alliance, Portland, Oregon, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture by recognizing and rewarding farmers who produce food in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

Salmon Safe, Dan Kent, managing director, Eugene, Oregon, a program of the Pacific Rivers Council, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to production of food in a sustainable fashion, and preservation of urban parks in the Northwest that protect native fish.

Facing a New Rival in Green Arena, Helen Jung, Wall Street Journal, 11/99. A good story on how farmers can profit from direct contact with consumers. Urban folks love to meet and support local farmers!

Publications

Small Farm Today. An excellent how-to magazine of alternative and traditional crops, livestock, and direct marketing.

Farm-to-Cafeteria Connections: Marketing Opportunities for Small Farms in Washington State, by Kelli Sanger and Leslie Zenz. Washington State Department of Agriculture Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program. A large 97-page PDF file, updated 2004.

A Sense of Place: Serving Local Food at Your Meeting. Steven Garret, Washington State University Extension, Pierce County.

Growing a Community Food System. Steven Garrett, WSU Extension, Pierce County. A 22-page PDF document which examines all facets of building a network of farms, gardens, and markets to support a local community.

Some WSU Extension web sites provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. These external sites are not managed by WSU Extension. Furthermore, WSU Extension does not review, control or take responsibility for the content of these sites, nor do these sites implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.
Small Farms Team, 2606 W. Pioneer, Washington State University, Puyallup, WA 98371-4998, Contact Us