As a member of the Snohomish County Farm Bureau, I participated in the recent focus on farming event in Monroe. I listened to Snohomish County officials speaking about a whole new direction. This new group is using language that is helping groups that used to square off against each other look in the same direction.
The farmers in our community are the stewards of one of the most important aspects of a successful society: its soil. It is vital that we reverse the trend of losing our farmers and their land. Economic incentives are a key ingredient to this solution, but not the only one. The county officials clearly vocalized this wisdom at the conference through discussion about the triple bottom line: economics, the community and the environment.
When we begin to see our leaders focus on long-term, realistic economic development, beginning with the agricultural community, let us not be too hasty in assuming we are throwing money away.