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Meeting to link farmers, customers

Local food is gaining in popularity. From chefs to home cooks, more people are looking to local food because it is considered safer, superior in taste and quality and healthier than mass-produced and processed food. More residents want to visit farms, pick their own food and stop at roadside farm stands.

Within the cities, farmers markets are becoming important neighborhood amenities. Direct sales are placing products at the doorsteps of residents. Restaurants and grocery stores advertise their use of local agricultural products. The fruits and vegetables grown by King County farmers are a key element in overcoming challenges related to public health, carbon emissions and climate change

It takes a strong base of local farms provide to provide, fresh nutritious food in order to satisfy that demand.

King County staff have been working with the county’s farmers and policy makers to develop a plan that promotes a robust family farming presence here for generations to come.

The first stage of that plan began two years ago when the King County Agriculture Commission hosted a series of meetings across the county with farmers and other interested citizens to discuss ideas for securing agriculture’s future here.

Now the commission wants to share with farmers and the broader community what they have learned – and to discuss the new challenges facing farmers, plus new opportunities – with a new round of meetings, beginning Thursday in Auburn.

A generation ago, the primary threat to the future of farming was the loss of prime farmland to development. The community responded with the creation of the Farmland Preservation Program, which has permanently secured development rights to more than 13,000 acres of the richest farmland in King County.

Thursday’s public meeting is set for 7 to 9 p.m. at Auburn City Hall, 25 W. Main St., Auburn.

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