Farmers are at their core conservationists, but speak with most operators, and they tell you one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with the land, the water the air, is the bureaucratic nightmare that follows via paperwork. In an effort to stream line the process and encourage landowners to improve their property, Washington as the Voluntary Stewardship Program, better known as VSP. Britt Dudek, president of the Chelan/Douglas County Farm Bureau said the program is a great fit for landowners with streams, slopes or sensitive areas. He told the Washington Ag Network VSP can be a great addition to any operation.
“If they wish to do better things, if they say, wish to put in a Conversation Practice and say water more efficiently or reduce surface water transfer, there’s a whole bunch of different things they could do depending upon the kind of ag that they are, then the county gets a credit for that making it better than it was.”
Dudek acknowledged the program has a few short comings, but quickly noted it’s the best program the state has right now.
“The alternative is a bureaucratic, don’t touch this land , buffer approach that would be though the normal land use planning process, and I don’t know any farmer that would be in favor of that. So, I encourage everybody to get involved at the county level if they can and try to influence it to be a minimal impact on them.”
Dudek added VSP was created by statewide Ag groups, county governments and environmental groups. Click Here to learn more, about the VSP program.