In Economies for Life David Korten, a specialist in international development, describes the emergence of local living economies in the midst of what he sees as a dying global industrial economy. In his essay Conserving Communities, Wendell Berry writes that one place to start this transformation "is with the development of a local food economy. Such a start is attractive," he says, "because it does not have to be big or costly, it requires nobody's permission, and it can ultimately involve everybody." Here are links to several organizations strengthening rural economies in Washington:

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies - BALLE (
BALLE is a national network of small businesses, including family farms, devoted to strengthening their communities by building local living economies. The Northwest Washington chapter, called Sustainable Connections, includes a diverse array of more than 200 small business working together to promote a sustainable economy in Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan Counties.

Center for Latino Farmers (
In the Pacific Northwest, as in other parts of the country, many of our new farmers are from Latin America. The Center for Latino Farmers was established to assist Spanish-speaking farmers with the support they need to get established on their own land. In early 2002 Malaquías Flores, the Center's Director, was featured in a Tri-City Herald article that underscored the challenges faced by Latino farmers.

Lopez Community Land Trust (
The Lopez Community Land Trust has established a comprehensive Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development Program to enhance everything from food production and processing to distribution.

Northwest Cooperative Development Center (
The Center assists in the formation and management of a wide range of cooperative enterprises, including consumer and producer cooperatives.

NW SEED - Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (
Wind and solar energy hold the promise of economic independence for many Northwest farms and energy independence for the US. NW SEED is devoted to helping farmers make that happen.