2011 21.3 State Budget Cut; Domestic Marketing Program Eliminated

The Washington State Legislature passed a budget eliminating all state funding for the Domestic Marketing program, which includes the Small Farm Direct Marketing, Farm to School, and Domestic Marketing & Economic Development programs. We are very disappointed and surprised by this decision. Thanks to all of you who have supported these programs and who contacted legislators and committee staff to develop programs that support small farmers through domestic marketing. Patrice Barrantine and Fred Berman of WSDA were recognized as Advocates of the Year by Tilth Producers in 2010. All WSDA Direct Marketing staff members have been reassigned to other programs.

We are currently meeting with members of the WA Sustainable Food and Farm Network and the Good Food Coalition to reinstate these very popular programs with new alternative sources of revenue. Please work with us to continue educating your elected representatives on the importance of assisting small farmers and how popular these programs are. Tilth is considering a survey of our farm businesses that rely on meeting local demand. We want to document the direct impact that the promotion of farmers markets and other domestic marketing options has on employment numbers for your farm and your capacity to grow your farm business.

Tags: Budget cuts, Domestic Marketing Program, Economic Development, Farm to School, Fred Berman, Legislature, Patrice Barrantine, Small Farm Direct Marketing, WSDA