U.S. agricultural lands are disappearing nationwide. This trend is accelerated on the urban fringe of many regions, and Pierce County, Washington has lost thousands of acres of agricultural land in recent decades. In response to these changing conditions and the emerging needs of the agriculture sector, Barney & Worth assisted Pierce County to create a strategic plan designed to better understand and boost the industry’s competitiveness.
The first-ever Pierce County Agriculture Strategic Plan includes a systematic examination of the local agriculture sector from an economic development perspective, and provides effective strategies to promote the agriculture industry and enhance its competitiveness. The Pierce County Council adopted the plan, and enacted many of its key provisions: creating a “farmbudsman” position within County government to serve as liaison with the agriculture community; establishing a “Buy Local” preference program for County institutions to purchase local produce; funding a program to assist in marketing local agriculture projects; forming a “farm team” of specialists within the Department of Planning and Land Services; and revising building codes to make them more “farm friendly”.