Evergreen State College Organic Farm is the first college farm to receive Salmon-Safe certification, an emerging Northwest eco-label to recognize agricultural practices that protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and native biodiversity.
“Being only a mile from Puget Sound, we take great pride in our environmental farming practice”, says Melissa Barker, Evergreen Farm Manager. “As a regional certification program, Salmon-Safe offers us independent verification that we are meeting our environmental goals and will help us communicate that to our students and the greater community”.
The Evergreen Farm was determined to be Salmon-Safe in the programs’ six main categories: protecting waterways and wetlands, preventing soil erosion, conserving water through irrigation efficiency, minimizing impacts from animals, using natural weed and pest control methods in lieu of toxic chemicals, and promoting on-farm biodiversity.
“The Evergreen Farm serves as a valuable resource for student involvement in organic agriculture and sustainable farming practices” says Larry Nussbaum of Stewardship Partners, the organization coordinating the Salmon-Safe program in Washington. “As the first college farm to be Salmon-Safe certified, Evergreen will serve as a working model to educate the public about both environmental farming practices and credible third-party eco-labeling programs.
The Salmon-Safe program was founded in Oregon in 1997 and has since been recognized as one of the most reliable eco-labels in the country, alongside other well known labels such as Certified Organic and Fair Trade. Stewardship Partners, a non-profit conservation organization, launched the program in Washington in 2004 and is working with farmers in across a variety of sectors including vineyards, orchards, dairies, and row crops. Over 150 farms in Oregon and 50 farms in Washington have been certified Salmon-Safe.
More info is also available at www.stewardshippartners.org.