Farm groups reaching out to community

Three groups working to strengthen farming in Pierce County are reaching out to the community at large through a series of meetings this month.

Task forces created by the groups will conduct the public meetings to be held at the Pacific Northwest Office of American Farmland Trust, 301 2nd Ave. N.E., Suite B in Puyallup.

The series will kick off Tuesday, March 11 with a meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the topic of creating stronger relationships between the agriculture community and other groups and interests.

The meeting will be conducted by the Building Coalitions Task Force.

“We know there are many groups and interests in Pierce County whose concerns intersect with or somehow relate to the concerns of agriculture,” said Don Stuart, regional director of the American Farmland Trust.

That will be followed Wednesday, March 19 by a Marketing Local Products Task Force meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The topic will be identifying and advancing ways in which local farm products can be marketed both inside and outside the county.

The series will conclude Thursday, March 20 with a meeting of the Regulatory Coordination Task Force from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Participants will discuss ways to work with local governments to clarify, simplify and coordinate regulations that affect agriculture and create a better regulatory climate for farmers.

“These meetings are an effort by the agriculture community to reach out to the broadest possible group of citizens with the goal of making improvements in the best interest of all involved,” said Cheryl Ouellette, coalition coordinator for the Friends of Family Farmers.

The Pierce County Farm-City Forum, Pierce County Friends of Family Farmers, and the Pierce County Farm Advisory Commission are sponsoring the meetings.