BFRDP Projects

Farmers-to-Farmland: A Collaborative Model to Enable New Farmers and Ranchers in the Remote San Juan Islands, Washington
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $304,637
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Stephanie Coffey
Organization: San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Building on momentum from USDA BFRDP #2016-03316, this Farmers-to-Farmland project used a multi-pronged approach to
facilitate entry into farming for beginning farmers and ranchers (BFRs), with a focus on women and the Latinx community, in the
remote San Juan Islands, Washington. The San Juans are a top tourist destination, which has resulted in high land prices but
also robust markets for local food. Our collaborative approach met BFRs where they are in developing farming goals, skills,
and access to land. With support from agencies and peers, we offered BFRs technical assistance, education, and mentoring,
as well as help navigating markets and connecting to farmland. Our first BFRDP project showed lack of BFR experience as a
barrier to land access. Here, we developed a model for land sharing and collaborative land management to jump-start BFRs
through a support system that draws upon the experience and resources of project collaborators and syncs with other BFR
services. The average age of San Juan County (SJC) farmers is 60.3, compared to the 57.5 national average (USDA Ag
Census 2017). For farming to continue in the islands, we must actively cultivate our next generation of farmers.

Number of Participants: 51


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success