South Whidbey Record


LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Langley mayor left agriculture out of economic plans

February 18, 2014 · Updated 3:26 PM


I read with interest Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy’s column in The Record outlining the upcoming agenda for economic development. I fully support the efforts of the city council to work toward increasing and diversifying employment opportunities here on the South End.

However the mayor seems to have overlooked a major category of economic activity, namely agriculture. Langley is in the midst of a rural setting, surrounded by farms and parcels of land suitable for agricultural activity. Much more could be done to promote the raising, growing and selling of agricultural products.

As the climate changes and extreme weather events affect out of state agribusiness, we would do well to preserve, promote and develop our agricultural potential. Thriving farms and agricultural uses keep the area attractive to tourists while providing economic gain and food security for the local population.

Wouldn’t we all rather continue to stroll past the cattle and sheep on the old Fossek farm rather than a new real estate development? How can we best include this vision of Langley in our future?

A few things that could possibly be discussed are: bringing in more training and education for those new to livestock and farming, exploring getting a mobile butchering facility for the island, and promoting the facilitation of an online marketplace for agricultural products.

There is already a base of rural agricultural activity here and surely there is the potential for it to grow even more.




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