ARC listening session for agricultural community

Submitted by the Agricultural Resources Committee.

The Agricultural Resource Committee of San Juan County is inviting the agricultural community to share their questions, concerns, and ideas related to agricultural economic viability and the local regulatory environment. This year, the ARC will be joined by the following organizations who work to support agriculture in the county: WSU Extension, San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild, San Juan Islands Conservation District, San Juan County Conservation Land Bank, San Juan County Department of Community Development, San Juan Islands Makers Guild, The Food System Team and San Juan County Parks and Fair.

Each 1.5-hour listening session will consist of updates from the above organizations, a facilitated discussion, and an opportunity for written feedback. Together, we will answer the following questions:

· What works well about San Juan County’s local food system?

· What specific challenges or barriers do you currently face that are regulatory in nature (county and state)?

· What specific challenges or barriers do you currently face concerning infrastructure (either on farm or community level)?

· What specific solutions or steps would help address the challenges you identified?

· What kinds of ag, business, or value-added education opportunities or workshops would you like to see offered in San Juan County?

The listening sessions will be held at the following locations:

Lopez Island: Monday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Lopez Grange (452 Richardson Road)

Orcas Island: Thursday, Jan. 26, 1:30-3 p.m., at the Orcas Library Community Room (500 Rose Street)

San Juan Island: Friday, Jan. 27, 9-10:30 a.m., at the San Juan Island Fairground Marie Boe Building.

Farmers, ranchers and value-added producers are encouraged to attend these listening sessions to share thoughts and ideas on how we can work together to ensure a robust farming future in our islands.

If you are not able to participate in person but would like to make your voice heard please answer the questions with this survey: