2 farms join growing Puyallup Valley farmland conservation movement

Pierce County officials announced Wednesday that Shelstad Farm and Harman Farm will join five other working farms in the Puyallup Valley that have been preserved in perpetuity by PCC Farmland Trust.

“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,” said PCC Farmland Trust Executive Director Rebecca Sadinsky.

Historically an abundant farming community, the Puyallup Valley is losing farmland at a rapid rate, according to Pierce County officials. Between 1997 and 2007, Pierce County lost 23 per cent of its farmland—much of it in the valley—to development and other land use needs. The result has been decreased capacity for production when consumers are increasingly buying local to support their local economies and shrink their carbon footprints, according to Pierce County and PCC Farmland Trust officials.

“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,” added Shelstad Farm owner Kim Shelstad.

Since 2009, PCC Farmland Trust has worked in collaboration with Pierce County, Pierce Conservation District, and Forterra to advance farmland preservation by securing, preserving, and stewarding threatened farmland in Washington State in an effort to ensure generations of sustainable family farms. The conservation of Shelstad Farm and Harman Farm brings the organization’s goal of conserving 2,000 acres of prime farmland in the valley to a 20 per cent completion mark.

“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 Trust and our local farmers to protect this valuable asset.”

Thirty-six acre Shelstad Farm is located at 14523 168th St. E. in Orting. Forty-four acre Harman Farm is located in the Puyallup Valley.

PCC Farmland Trust  and Pierce County officials will celebrate the conservation of the two properties beginning at 9 a.m. on Fri., Jan. 29, at Shelstad Farm. The event will include remarks from local leaders and farm owners. Event attendees will be invited to join a walking tour of the farms after the program.

More information is available online here.


To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Pierce County Agriculture Program, click on the following links: