Washington Tag

Washington State Department of Agriculture is preparing to award Local Food System Infrastructure and Market Access Grants in the coming year. The grant program's purpose is to improve food supply chain infrastructure and market access for farms, food processors, and food distributors, with an emphasis on women, minority, and small business owners. These infrastructure grants are possible because the state legislature allocated a total of $17 million to strengthen Washington's food system and develop small businesses. The grants will include two funds: $8 million for local food system infrastructure and market access grants, prioritized for women, minority, and small business...

American Farmland Trust's Women for the Land Initiative launched a new program, Women Veterans for the Land, to offer resources for women veterans in agriculture over the next three years throughout the Pacific Northwest. The project, funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AgVets program, aims to foster a community of practice among veteran women farmers in Washington and Oregon through a series of listening sessions, learning circles, and regional convenings. The project will support non-formal education to provide veteran women the necessary skills, training, and experience to be successful in agriculture. AFT will offer a combination...

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is accepting applications until December 15, 2021, for a new bilingual program offered to help small, specialty crop farms forced to adjust in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, WSDA Regional Markets Program is partnering with Business Impact NW to offer "Profiting from Your Pivot," a new business service providing one-on-one coaching to specialty crop farmers who had to “pivot” their business model due to the pandemic. Program participants will receive free business coaching, farm mentorship, and the opportunity to select from a portfolio of professional...

Related ATTRA Publication: Sweetpotato: Organic Production Washington State University reports that scientists testing sweetpotato as a potential crop for Washington have achieved better yields than in southern states. Researchers say the sweetpotatoes grow bigger and faster with longer daylight in the Pacific Northwest. They used biodegradable plastic mulch to warm the soil to encourage production. The crop could provide producers with another crop to add in rotation—one that also produces a nutritious and high-value product. In addition, the edible sweetpotato vines could be used as a dairy feed. One potential threat to the crop is wireworm, and researchers are testing varieties for...

With support from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the Eat Local First Collaborative has expanded the Washington Food & Farm Finder, an online tool to connect consumers with food that is grown, caught, raised, and made by Washington growers and producers. The expansion added a section for wholesale vendors to the directory in late October, to better assist school districts and other institutions trying to source locally grown produce. Institutional buyers can search listings by city name, Zip code, category, product, distribution method, delivery area, and more. The wholesale tool also includes five diversity and seven sustainability icons...

The Washington State Department of Agriculture received approximately $4.6 million from USDA in Specialty Crop Block Grant funds. Awards ranging from $54,000 to $250,000 will go to non-profits, government organizations, universities and community colleges, and agricultural commissions in support of 20 projects that increase the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Washington. The projects include efforts to address local and international marketing for Washington specialty crops, studying parasitoids with the ability to infest and kill the apple maggot and snowberry flies, removing trees infected with little cherry disease and X-disease, launching and marketing cherries in India, and refining mechanical-assisted harvest...