Port of Skagit Champions Local Ag Industry

“Skagit Valley is a special place. Surrounded by natural beauty and rooted in a deep agricultural heritage, Skagit is home to some of the best beer, locally-grown ingredients, and skilled brewers and makers around. We think that’s something worth celebrating, and that’s why we host the Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow every year!” says Michael Frazier, Viva Farms Executive Director.

The Port of Skagit has long been a champion of the local agriculture industry, and has been home to Viva Farms’ original Farm Business Incubator since 2009. The Port nurtures partnerships like the one with Viva Farms to enhance the local agricultural industry, promoting innovative approaches that combine research and technology producing new jobs and a robust economy centered on the valley’s rich agricultural resources and heritage.

In 2013, the Washington State Department of Commerce designated the Skagit Valley as an Innovation Partnership Zone, focused on Value-Added Agriculture. The Port of Skagit quickly became a leader in the partnership initiative and has invested significant resources in infrastructure and business recruitment to support local agriculture.

Nearly 200 jobs and 20 businesses at the Port are directly related to value-added agriculture, including Skagit Farm to Pint ROADSHOW partners Chuckanut Brewery, Cardinal Craft Brewing Academy, Garden Path Fermentation, Skagit Valley Malting, Skagit Landing and Water Tank Bakery. The Port of Skagit also helped create the Genuine Skagit Valley™ brand, a federal certification mark designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Skagit Valley agricultural products and services.

With the Port’s focus on the agricultural vitality of our area, it is easy to understand why they are such a dedicated supporter of Viva Farms, and the Skagit Farm to Pint ROADSHOW.

Viva Farms started with just five beginning farmers farming on eight acres in the Port in 2009. Since then, they have educated over 1,000 beginning farmers (350+ Spanish speakers) in sustainable organic farming and business management. Today, they are one of the largest (in acreage and sales) and most comprehensive farm incubator programs in the country. They are currently incubating 35 farm businesses on 119 acres of organic farmland across four sites in Skagit and King counties of Washington. Together with their farmers, they grew, marketed and distributed over $2.1M of organic produce in 2021.

The Skagit Farm to Pint Roadshow is their biggest fundraising event of the year. The money raised will help fund their Farm Business Incubator for the 2022 season.

Port of Skagit & the Skagit Farm to Pint FEST Roadshow

Agriculture is an important industry in the Skagit Valley, and the Port of Skagit is committed to building opportunities to support, sustain and advance the local agricultural industry.

The Port of Skagit has invested significant resources into value-added agriculture infrastructure and business recruitment over the past decade to build the Ag sector at our properties.  Events like Skagit Farm to Pint Fest align with the Port’s vision to support and promote agriculture and all the attributes that this industry brings to our community:  exceptional food and products, high-quality of life, innovative technology, and a cooperative ecosystem where growers and producers support and encourage one another.

In 2013, the State of Washington designated the Skagit Valley as an Innovation Partnership Zone focused on value-added agriculture, with the goal of using research, innovation and opportunities to strengthen and enhance the agricultural industry.  One of the strategies stemming from the IPZ was the creation, and recent approval of, the Genuine Skagit Valley federal certification mark.  This federal certification mark is based on origin and will help to increase demand and preference for Skagit Valley agricultural products.

There is something very special about products grown in this rich, fertile valley.  On behalf of the Port of Skagit Commission and Staff, thank you for your participation in the Skagit Farm to Pint Fest Roadshow, and on a larger scale, for your support of Skagit Valley agriculture and the people who make it happen.