Food production has always been a defining characteristic of the north Olympic Peninsula. Local farmers, food producers, and gatherers are vital community members that support healthy people, healthy lands, and a healthy economy in Clallam County.
In 1999, Friends of the Fields, a beloved Sequim nonprofit focused on conserving farmland, began their Farmer of the Year award to honor an individual, organization, or farm that has had a lasting and significant impact on the ability of local lands to provide food and sustenance for the community.
Friends of the Fields merged with North Olympic Land Trust in 2010, another trusted nonprofit founded in 1990 with a focus on conserving the land and natural resources that continue to be the foundation of the culture, economy, and way of life in Clallam County. North Olympic Land Trust continues to honor a local member of the agricultural community with the award every year.
“This award allows the organization and greater community an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who help to strengthen agriculture on the north Olympic Peninsula,” said Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director.
This year, North Olympic Land Trust is opening up the Farmer of the Year award for community nominations. Community members are encouraged to share their favorite farms and farmers with the Land Trust, as well as share stories about what these farms mean to them. All options are welcome.
“Growing and purchasing food in a local system increases food safety and security, which is necessary for a thriving, resilient Peninsula. Local food growers and producers are the hands that feed us, and we hope to share the gratitude of folks across the community by asking for their nominations for Farmer of the Year,” said Sanford.
Nominations should be an individual, organization, or farm operating in Clallam County that produces or gathers food, medicine, or similar goods for the community and/or promotes local agriculture. Preference is given to those who have not received this award before (see the list of previous award winners below).
Nominations are now closed, and the winner will be announced at the end of September 2023.