Food & Farming
The Food & Farming Program is helping to create a vibrant local food economy. We support local farmers, connect food buyers to local farms and artisans, and encourage our community to always Eat Local First! We are proud founders of the Eat Local First Campaign and the Whatcom County Farm Tour. We excel in farmer training and run a farmer incubator program. We believe that changing our local food system can change the world, join us!
Food & Farming Program Member Benefits
Join as a business member of Sustainable Connections and get general member benefits plus those specific to our program!
• Free participation in the Eat Local First Campaign
• Member rate on Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting registration
• Opportunites for Member Spotlight features in Eat Local First Newsletter and Blog (3,000 Subscribers)
• Priority promotion on Eat Local First NW Instagram and Facebook channels
• Free consultation and direct connections with local farmers and food buyers
• Free participation as an Eat Local Month restaurant
• Member rate on Chef Farm Tour as a buyer (save $10)
• Opportunity to participate as a farm on Chef Farm Tour
• Member rate to participate on Whatcom Farm Tour
Projects & Programs
Connecting the Community to Local Food
- Eat Local First Campaign
- WA Food & Farm Finder
- Farm to Table Trail
- Print Resources: NW Food & Farm Finder, Culinary Itineraries
- Farm Share (CSA) Finder
- Whatcom County Farm Tour
- Eat Local Month
- Demo Days (currently suspended due to COVID-19 precautions)
- Farmer’s Marketing Toolkit
- Cloud Mountain Farm Center Farmer Education
- Eat Local First Collaborative
- Grower Guide
- Collaboration with Nortwest Agriculture Business Center to provide Technical Assistance Workshops for Growers:
- Scaling Up for Wholesale Production
- Cooperative Crop Planning
- Regional Food Systems Farmer Curriculum
Cloud Mountain Farm Center
Sustainable Connections and Cloud Mountain Farm Center merged together into one nonprofit in early 2019. We’ve had a long history of collaboration and the merger offered an opportunity for us to maximize community impact and extend our missions.
Business consultations for food & farming businesses
Consumers engaged annually
Million dollars in local sales generated as a result of the program
The Food & Farming Program is unmatched, we have not heard of anything in the country that works so well.
Sustainable Connections has been invaluable in growing our farm sales. We couldn’t have done what we have without them.
– Business Member
The Food and Farming Program has given our farm more support and aligned us with new customers more than any other community resource.
– Local Farm
Eat Local First
The Food & Farming Program launched the Eat Local First campaign in 2011 to encourage all to choose local food first. It is the trusted source for finding truly local food. We provide business participants with the support and resources to continue to grow their business.
Eat Local Month
Every year we celebrate Eat Local Month, a chance to say thank you to our local food producers, restaurants, and artisans. Savor restaurant specials, enjoy farm tours and connect with where your food comes from.
Eat Local First Videos
Local Champions Blog
Our community is full of local food champions. Learn about the people behind your favorite local food and farming businesses and how they are putting people and planet first.
18 of the Best Sandwiches in NW Washington
It’s spring! And while Sasquatch loves foraging for nettles and chickweed as much as the next Bigfoot, there’s only one food they truly crave during this season – sandwiches! Luckily for Sasquatch, and for you, spring is also when the Sandwich Showdown commences. What...
Long Hearing Farm: Farming for the Future, Listening to the Past
Located on 40 acres of Sauk-Suiattle, Upper Skagit, and Stillaguamish lands, Long Hearing Farm grows food to nourish their community and neighbors, listening to the past as well as to the future. As farmer-owner Elizabeth Bragg puts it, “Our mission at Long Hearing...
Whatcom Food System Plan Envisions an Equitable and Resilient Future
Whatcom County is home to rich and abundant ecosystems, a passionate food and farming community, and engaged citizens. Why, then, do so many people in the local food system still struggle to grow, raise, access, and afford healthy and nutritious food? Why, and how,...