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December 29, 1997

Local News

Community agriculture grants

  The King County Agriculture Commission and King County Department of Natural Resources announce the availability of small community grants to promote and enhance agriculture in the county. These grants are to further the goals established by the King County Agriculture Commission and the County Council through the 1996 Farm and Forest Report. There will be approximately $100,000 available in early 1998 to distribute for projects totaling from $2,500 to $10,000. Through a competitive process, King County will select and finance groups, organizations and some individuals to help achieve the goals of the Farm and Forest Report.
  
   The purpose of these funds is to involve the community in projects that benefit King County agriculture through education, marketing, public relations, and funding for agriculture support. A second round of these opportunities will be offered again in late 1998. Proposals are encouraged from individuals, farm groups and associations, community organizations, 4-H and FFA clubs, neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, farmer cooperatives, granges, and others.
  
   Funded projects will enhance or improve agriculture in King County and increase the chances that farming will continue into the future. Examples include a farm stand where farmers can sell, tests for alternatives to pesticides, new or enhanced farmers' markets in urban areas, strip tests of pasture grasses for livestock, new marketing ideas, training programs for new farmers--the list is limited only by imagination.
  
   Evaluation criteria used for selection include:
   * Demonstration of how project will promote or enhance agriculture in King County
   * Strength of proposals
   * Demonstrated ability of the group
   * Cost justification
   * Carefully developed measurable objectives
   * Projects provide a demonstrable public benefit
  
   Each proposal will be reviewed by the Agriculture Commission and King County Natural Resources staff who will develop a list of finalists. Finalists will be interviewed and references checked. The King County Agriculture Commission will authorize the final selection. The Agriculture Commission will sponsor proposal assistance workshops in three areas of King County on Feb. 17, 18 and 19, 1998. Further details about these workshops will be available after Jan. 5, 1998. Call 206-205-9888 to leave your name and address to receive an application packet and further details about the workshops.
  
   Eight copies of your proposal must be received in the Agriculture Programs Office, M/S 7ST, 506 Second Avenue, Suite 708, Seattle, WA 98104 by 4:30 p.m. March 16, 1998. Being postmarked on or before the deadline does not automatically qualify the proposal. Proposals may not be submitted by fax.