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Washington State University

Value-Added Production & Marketing

Regional needs assessments identify regional food system infrastructure gaps, including for dry, refrigerated and frozen storage, food processing facilities, grain handling and storage, and  aggregation, distribution for collective marketing. Among other problems, lack of farm infrastructure in the region is dampening market opportunities, and likely contributing to long-term loss of farmland. Since 1950, farmland has dropped from 170,640 to 76,000 acres in Thurston County, and from 304,253 to 132,839 in Lewis County. Value-added production systems, regionalized aggregation and distribution networks, and community-based value-added processing provide improve access for crop producers and improve food system resilience in the region. Funding for this project has been provided by the Port of Olympia.

Direct marketing

WSU Food Systems Team

A collection of  resources maintained by the WSU Food Systems Team to assist agricultural producers.

Farmer-to-Consumer Marketing

These bulletins look at creating a venture to meet the grower’s needs within the framework of the consumer’s desires. Topics focus on basic evaluation and goal determination that suggest methods to match the seller’s abilities and personality with the project. Presents advantages and disadvantages of direct marketing efforts such as roadside stands, farmers markets, and rent-a-tree.

Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers (PDF)

This publication reviews federally subsidized crop insurance, with special attention to options available to specialty, diversified, and organic farmers. Generally, the greater the diversity or specialization of the crops and livestock farmers grow, the more difficult it can be for them to obtain insurance that fully covers the value and risks of their production. This publication gives several examples of using alternative crop-insurance policies that can offer some degree of protection from significant market-price changes and the multiple perils of farming that can impact yield. It gives special attention to understanding whole-farm revenue insurance options, which may be of particular interest to growers of diverse specialty and organic crops and livestock.


WSDA Farm Widsom: Managing Risk on Small Farms Video Series

The farmers featured in this series, two of which are located in Thurston County, are leaders in utilizing innovative and viable business and production practices to manage risk, and to build and maintain sustainable small-scale farms. The series includes 11 videos made possible by 2 consecutive Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership grants from USDA Risk Management Agency.

Poultry Processing Rental Equipment 

In this video, Colin Barricklow, Kirsop Farm in Tumwater, WA shares his diversified farm’s practices for cultivating row crops and small-scale poultry production for direct to consumer sales of up to 1,000 birds allowed for in the WSDA Special Poultry Permit. Food safety, animal husbandry, and predator control are essential components of Kirsop’s whole farm system.

Kirsten Workman of WSU Mason County Extension walks tour participants through on-farm poultry processing including how to use rental killing cones, scalder, and plucker that Kirsop uses in their commercial production.


Flood Preparation and Recovery

Are you farming in a flood plain? “Assume it will happen every year”, even if it’s called a hundred-year event. This is the advice given by farmer Jennifer Belknap of Rising River Farm in Rochester, WA in the  after having been through several major floods on her farm. The aftermath can be less damaging to your farm’s bottom line if you have adequate flood insurance and a well laid-out plan that includes creating storage for equipment, livestock, and crops that will protect them from floodwaters.