Barney & Worth assisted Pierce County, Washington with a project designed to better understand and boost the agriculture industry’s competitiveness. Barney & Worth managed the project, evaluated land use planning / zoning impacts on the ag sector, led community outreach and researched nationally the most effective strategies to enhance the agricultural industry’s competitiveness. The consultant team analyzed the local crops – vegetables, fruits, flowers and nursery crops – that were marketed in Tacoma area farmers markets, CSAs, directly to restaurants, roadside stands and conventional wholesale markets. The study also identified the major economic factors that will drive future growth prospects for sales of local food products.
The result was the first-ever Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan, adopted by the County Council. The County and partners enacted many of the Plan’s key provisions: creating a “farmbudsman” position; establishing a “Buy Local” preference program for food purchases by County institutions; funding a program to help market local agriculture projects; forming a “farm team” of specialists within the County planning department: and revising building codes to make them more “farm friendly.”