Skip to main content
King County logo

Newsroom

Natural Resources and Parks
Public Affairs


King County Agriculture Commission seeking members to help grow, strengthen food economy

Summary

Experts in farming, food production and distribution who want to strengthen King County’s vibrant food economy are encouraged to apply for a position on the King County Agriculture Commission.

Story

Experts in farming, food production and distribution who want to strengthen King County’s vibrant food economy are encouraged to apply for a positionpatch_sm on the King County Agriculture Commission.

While King County boasts a $121 million farm economy with more than 1,800 commercial farmers, the county’s farmers continue to face challenges such as land development pressure and competition from producers elsewhere.

King County residents currently spend nearly $6 billion per year on food and drink; however, less than 2 percent of that amount goes to farmers for food grown in King County.

Farming and local food production play prominent roles in Executive Dow Constantine’s bid to strengthen the economy while improving health. In June 2014, Executive Constantine launched the Local Food Initiative.

The initiative seeks to expand and strengthen the local food economy, and to increase access to affordable healthy food. Given the importance of agriculture in the local food system, the Agriculture Commission’s contribution to the success of the initiative will be significant.

Created in 1994, the commission advises county managers and elected officials on policies and programs affecting agriculture, including land use issues, promoting and enhancing agriculture and agricultural products across the region, and more.

“The commission serves as a forum to discuss agricultural successes and challenges, and it provides expert advice on how to ensure the agricultural community’s prosperity," said Patrice Barrentine, King County liaison to the commission.

Agriculture Commission members are required to attend six early evening meetings a year over the course of a three-year term, plus some subcommittee work.

King County residents who are interested in applying should have a working knowledge of agriculture and/or food systems in the county, and the ability to work with differing viewpoints to find solutions to complex problems.

Applicants should either be producers of agricultural crops or commodities, or have demonstrable knowledge, experience, and interest in agricultural real estate, food processing, wholesale and retail marketing, produce buying, direct marketing, supply, and finance.

To request an application package or to learn more about the Agriculture Commission, contact King County’s Agriculture Program at 206-477-1556; email patrice.barrentine@kingcounty.gov; or visit the website.

# # #