Join one of the most productive agricultural counties in the nation.
For centuries, agriculture has been the backbone of the Whatcom County economy. With more than 100,000 acres of fertile Pacific Northwest farmland, Whatcom County ranks in the top 3% of farm production in the US and is home to beloved brands, like Twin Brook Creamery, Bellewood Acres, Edaleen Dairy, Boxx Berry Farm, Darigold, Hopewell Farm, and many others.
Local agricultural events, like Lynden’s Raspberry Festival and Farmer’s Day Parade, pack the calendar year-round, while we’ve dubbed the entire month of September as “Eat Local Month.” Between our rich soil and supportive farming community, Whatcom County is the perfect place to start or grow your agricultural business.
No. 1 raspberry producing county in the US
A Truly “Eat Local First” Community
With strong demand from local retail and wholesale customers, many local farms have found success just by targeting the local community. Between the Community Food Co-op, the Green Barn, the Bellingham Farmers Market, and many other local grocers and markets, there are plenty of opportunities to get your product into the hands of local customers. Local restaurants and breweries have also come on board, and are proud to offer an array of locally-grown goods.
Ideal Pacific Northwest Climate and Soil
Since the 18th century, people have been drawn to Whatcom County’s ideal farming environment. Our rich soil and mild climate allow for significant production. In fact, Whatcom County is known for growing a bounty of delicious crops, from sweet strawberries, to crisp romaine, to savory mushrooms, you can see a great selection of what Whatcom County has to offer in Sustainable Connections’ Whatcom Food and Farm Finder.
Innovative Machinery and Equipment
It seems like there’s a farm store on nearly every corner in Whatcom County. From Edaleen in Blaine, to Scholten’s Equipment in Lynden, to the many Whatcom Farmers Co-ops around the county, you’re never far away from the help, supplies, and machinery you need. We’re also on the forefront of agricultural technology. Local companies like Regenis, OxBo, and Innotech are producing innovative technologies and food processing equipment, like digesters and berry harvesters, that allow farmers to be more productive and environmentally sustainable.
$360 million in annual agricultural revenue
Access to Local Capital
With agriculture being such a huge component of our local economy, Whatcom County offers a variety of funding options that have helped sustain local farmers for generations. From larger local banks, to smaller credit unions, to a special loan/grant fund from the Community Food Co-op, there’s a range of unique capital options for farmers. Search our Financing page to find the financing you need.
Gateway to a Global Market
Ideally located midway between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, Whatcom County gives you a front-row seat to Washington’s booming export economy. With a deepwater marine port, railway access, an international airport, and quick access to I-5, Whatcom County’s ideal location can help your locally-grown crops reach a global market. In fact, $14.8 billion worth of exports pass through Whatcom County’s five ports of entry every year. For example, Darigold’s Lynden plant produces and exports more than 1.2 billion pounds of powdered milk annually.
An Agriculture Success Story
Here’s what Paul Sangha, owner of Mountain View Berries, said about his experience running a berry farm in Whatcom County: “Our land here is the best for all sorts of crops and farming. Whatcom county is so vast with resources from farms, processors, and customers who all make this a great area to live. We have been blessed to grow our business Mountain View Berries, and our family with the support of other businesses and people in the community. ”
MEET YOUR AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT TEAM
Jeff Voltz NORTHWEST AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS CENTER (NABC)
The NABC provides local farmers with the resources they need to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, and food manufacturers. They give expert advice on growing your agricultural business.
DEREK LONG Sustainable Connections
Sustainable Connections’ Food & Farming Program supports new farmers, connects you to local farms and fishers, and builds a vibrant local food economy. Get connected, learn about the Eat Local First Campaign, and more.
Washington State University Extension
For nearly a century, WSU Whatcom County Extension has worked with agriculture producers to bring information to improve the productivity, economic well-being, and safety of products in this agricultural community.