​​



Issues, focusing mainly in Snohomish County:

  • Face the challenges of population growth and climate change.
  • Examine land use within rural and urban sectors to generate awareness of protections needed for natural resources and agriculture.
  • Encourage and enhance the agriculture support networks that tie regions together in food sheds. (A food shed describes a region where food flows from the area where it is produced to the place where it is consumed. The region includes the land it grows on, the route it travels, the markets it passes through, and the tables it ends up on.)
  • Strengthen food security, with a special focus on educational gardening programs.
  • Create educational opportunities for people who want to protect vital resources through the political process.
  • Create educational opportunities for people who want to become part of a local, organic agriculture community.

History:

The LWVSC Agriculture Committee grew out of the national League’s decision to update its agricultural policies in 2014, which coincided with the efforts by Congress to pass the Farm Bill that year. These policies covered multiple aspects of agriculture in the US today – economics, labeling, food safety, farm management, research and development, animal management, and farm subsidies. Even with the extensive research provided by the national league, reviewing and summarizing this enormous body of information, so that LWVSC members could reach a consensus by the deadline, was a time-consuming if not daunting task.

A committee was formed and each member took on a policy topic to research and summarize. The committee then took a presentation on the road to the chapter units.  The LWVSC was able to reach consensus on all the policy topics and forward its recommendations to the national League.

This research helped us to see that agriculture isn’t just about farm subsidies or food labeling. It’s about our connection to the biological and physical realities of life on earth and the foundations of life – the soil and water. The Committee also read the book The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson, which tells the stories of farmers, ranchers, and scientists across the country who are breaking away from old destructive models and moving towards healing the earth. These are stories of hope for the future. 

All of this energized the committee and we decided not to stop after the policy work was done. The messages of sustainability, of the tremendous creativity emerging today--particularly among the young people pioneering new techniques and ways of living with the land--are too important not to be heard and shared. 

In 2015 the Natural Resources Committee joined forces with the Agriculture Committee and brought its many years of commitment to protecting the water, soil and forest resources of Snohomish County.

Updated April 25, 2017

Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

Meetings:  Quarterly, on the third Friday of the month at 10 a.m.

Location:  Lynnwood Library (for confirmation contact Kate Lunceford)

Major accomplishments:

  • Observing the Snohomish County Planning Commission meetings.
  • Developed relationships with the Snohomish County Conservation District.
  • Supported Farmer Frog’s school garden at Chase Lake Elementary.
  • Arranged a presentation by Farmer Frog at the LWVSC Annual Meeting.
  • Testified on: the Comprehensive Plan Update and the Transfer of Development Rights at the Snohomish County Council; and Critical Area Code Updates.
  • Worked with County committee to strengthen tree retention in County landscape codes.
  • Worked on questions for the LWVSC Candidate Forums.
  • Presented a forum on local issues and invited speakers representing three organizations with pivotal roles in Snohomish County agriculture: WSU, the Snohomish County Conservation District, and the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network.  This forum, New Directions in Snohomish County Agriculture, focused on the ways agriculture touches our lives and the potential for the future.

Reports:

We are currently working to create an inventory of urban agriculture projects in Snohomish County.  When we have accumulated the material we will create a resource packet, a useful tool to distribute around the county.