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.