The Business of Giving
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January 21, 2009 11:29 AM
Posted by Kristi Heim
Donations to a trust that secures local farmland for organic food production rose 110 percent over the past year.
PCC Farmland Trust, an independent non-profit formed by PCC Natural Markets, said thousands of donors helped it surpass its fundraising goals for 2008 despite the sour economy.
Its annual campaign raised $128,000, topping its goal of $80,000. The non-profit also completed a six-month challenge to its donors to match $150,000 in grants from the Washington Women's Foundation and an anonymous donor.
The combined $300,000 will go into the trust's Future Farm Fund to purchase conservation easements on local farmland and restrict development on the land.
News about food and environmental issues over the past year has driven public interest in safe, local food, making farmland preservation a priority, says Kelly Sanderbeck, development and communications director.
"I think it's just in people's minds," she said. "It's personal as well as global. We're worried about food safety and looking for what's really going to help this planet."
The trust works to secure and preserve threatened farmland in the Northwest. Since 1999, the trust has saved three Washington state farms, in Sequim, Walla Walla and Carnation. It's considering using the fund to secure three additional farms in Pierce, Thurston and Kittitas counties.