Nash's Organic Produce Wins National Award

American Farmland Trust (AFT) has chosen Nash Huber of Nash's Organic Produce in Sequim, Washington, for its annual Steward of the Land Award.

Nash and his team grow more than 100 types of produce, pasture raised pork, and seed crops on 400 sustainably managed acres in the Dungeness River Valley. The farm products are sold directly to the public through Nash's Farm Store, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, local restaurants, and five area farmers' markets. He will receive the $10,000 prize for his environmental stewardship and farmland protection efforts.

Nash and his wife Patty McManus have been leaders and critical advocates for the preservation of farmland and are central to a variety of efforts to raise public awareness about the issue. "Because of increased food and fuel prices people are quickly becoming more aware of the pressure on the land from many different factors including development, and the resulting stress we're putting on one of our nation's greatest resources," says Ralph Grossi, president of AFT. "It is fantastic to be able to honor a producer like Nash as the 2008 Steward of the Land since he does so much to take care of farmland and to protect it for future generations."

Nash and Patty have helped save hundreds of acres of local farmland and important wildlife habitat through their efforts. Nash served as a founding member of the PCC Farmland Trust, and the grassroots farmland protection organization, Friends of the Fields. He has worked extensively with the North Olympic Land Trust; and the Clallam Citizens for Food Security, a group that has worked to promote a purchase of development rights program through several public education and legislative campaigns.

Huber's nomination for the award highlighted impressive on-farm practices that keep the land healthy:

• Nash's Organic produce protects water quality by participating in public campaigns for water protection and by creating vegetated buffers near creeks, rivers, and ponds. They have participated in Washington's Pioneer in Conservation grants program that funds projects to protect salmon habitat on agricultural land.

• Land managed by the farm provides migratory waterfowl habitat for dozens of types of birds and certain grasses and trees have been planted to ensure wildlife habitat.

• The farm uses a chemical-free pest control management program to deal with insects naturally and without harm to the environment. And, the farm has an extensive composting program to nourish and restore the soil using natural byproducts from dairy farms, fish processing plants, and the farm's vegetable packing operations.

American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with communities and individuals to protect the best land, plan for agriculture, and keep the land healthy.

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