Letter: Small farm owners support Marie Shimada


We, a coalition of Whidbey Island’s small farms and local food system advocates, enthusiastically endorse Marie Shimada for Island County District One Commissioner.

Marie Shimada’s candidacy is a beacon of change for Island County. In stark contrast to the incumbent, whose engagement with our agricultural community has been notably absent, Marie demonstrates a deep commitment to addressing the challenges we farmers face.

A cornerstone of Marie’s platform is the enhancement of Island County’s local food system, a sector that supports community health and resiliency while meaningfully contributing to our local economy. According to USDA, there are currently over 300 smaller production farms registered in Island County. Last year Island County’s small farms (ranging from 1 to 50 acres) collectively grew over 250 million pounds of fresh vegetables, fruit and meats representing a total market value of over $20 million.

It’s time we had a voice in this county government that represents and advocates for us as a collective. Our community thrives on the strength of our local food system containing beloved components like farm hubs, farm stands, farmers markets, agritourism, new farmer education and farm-to-table businesses. Marie’s commitment to advocating for policies that support this sector is crucial for our continued success.

Her strong work ethic (she’s committed to knocking on 5,000 constituents’ doors!) and proven record of collaboration highlight Marie’s potential to move Island County beyond the insider politics that too often hinder this county’s progress. The current administrative culture, characterized by an extremely high staff turnover rate and lagging morale, signals a need for fresh leadership. Marie’s approach promises to revitalize this culture, advocating for hard-working county staff, talent retention and fostering a more responsively efficient local government

Shimada’s focus on sensible policies to protect our island’s finite water resources reflect a deep understanding of the dynamic challenges we as an island community face. She is committed to preserving the natural and rural character that makes this place so special.

Island County stands at a crossroads. The choice we make in this election can steer us towards a future where our local government supports and enhances the vitality of our local food system, or we can continue down a path of status quo stagnation under leadership too often disconnected from the needs of its constituents.

We need a representative who embodies our community values. Marie Shimada’s readiness to boldly stand up for her constituents, coupled with her vision for a sustainable and thriving Island County, makes her the clear choice for District One commissioner.

Join us in supporting a future where our local food system continues to flourish, under the leadership of someone who not only understands its value but is also prepared to advocate for its growth.

Deep Harvest Farm

Foxtail Farm

Skyroot Farm

Sweetwater Farm

Slow and Steady Farm

Ballydidean Farm

Windfall Farm

Foggy Hill Farm

Dunham Farm Services

Full Cycle Farm

Shipke Farm