Category Archives: Conservation Legacy

Join our upcoming online workshops on farm transition planning!

Headwaters Farm graduate lessee doing field work at Mainstem

It’s never too early (or too late!) to begin securing your farm’s future. A farm transition plan is essential to protecting your interests and minimizing attorney fees, taxes, and family stress. This free virtual workshop series will help you understand your options and navigate the planning process.

In partnership with the Clackamas Small Business Development Center at Clackamas Community College, Clackamas SWCD and Tualatin SWCD, EMSWCD will host four virtual workshops covering the following topics, each from 1 to 4 PM:

  • January 27th: The estate planning process and options
  • February 10th: Strategies for having difficult conversations
  • February 24th: Organizing your finances and business structure
  • March 10th: Preparing your operation and heirs for transition

Pre-register for the workshops here! You can also find out more about the importance of farm transition planning here.

EMSWCD takes a “strategic pause” for the 2021 PIC Cycle (updated)

Recently-planted red flowering currant at a grant project restoration site

To EMSWCD grantees, partners, and supporters: We know how deeply all of you have been affected this past year by the upheaval and uncertainty that surrounds us. Here at EMSWCD, we have continued to do our work the best we can and to look for ways to support our communities. Ironically, it is in these extraordinary times that we are presented with a rare opportunity to consider how we may want to do things differently, to move in a direction that responds to the weight of this historic moment.

In this vein, EMSWCD has decided to take a “strategic pause” for the 2021 Partners in Conservation (PIC) Grant cycle – suspending the competitive grant opportunity for one year. While we will forgo the normal application process for PIC 2021, EMSWCD is committed to supporting our grantees and partners through this challenging time, and we intend to do this by extending some current grants and offering non-competitive new grants for our regular grantees for the fiscal year 2021/22. We have developed our initial criteria for this continued funding (please see below). The SPACE grant program will continue to operate as usual.

During this time, our staff will have the opportunity to address many aspects of our grant funding program with an eye toward greater equity and more strategic funding. We plan to conduct an evaluation of EMSWCD’s grants program in light of changes in the context of our regional funding, to implement new DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and other strategic initiatives, and to more fully engage with partners, grantees and other stakeholders about the future of our grants program.

Our hope is that through the work we accomplish during this “strategic pause,” our grants program will become more effective and more responsive to our diverse communities.

Please contact Suzanne Easton, Grants Program Manager, if you have any questions:

November 18th, 2020 Update

We recently informed you of EMSWCD’s decision to take a “Strategic Pause” for the 2021 PIC cycle, suspending the competitive grant opportunity for one year. As stated, EMSWCD is committed to supporting our grantees and partners through this challenging time, and we intend to do this by extending some current grants and offering non-competitive new grants for our regular grantees for the fiscal year 2021/22.

Our priority is to support those organizations that have come to depend on PIC funds to carry out their regular programming. While this will certainly leave some worthwhile projects ineligible, we believe this pause in the EMSWCD grant program will reap long-term benefits for all the communities we serve.

With these goals in mind, we have developed specific eligibility criteria for continued funding during this period. To receive 2021 PIC funding, the prior PIC grantee will:

  • Have been awarded at least 2 PIC grants within the last 4 years.
  • Be in good standing with solid past performance (COVID impacts taken into account).
  • Have demonstrated project need and ability to continue with activities consistent with prior grants.

While these criteria will be used for granting extensions and renewing grants, in unique and urgent circumstances we may make allowances for awarding a grant that does not meet these requirements.

We anticipate that funding decisions will be made in February/March of 2021 through an internal staff review process. The level of funding will be decided on a case-by-case basis but will likely be in line with the annual amount an organization has received in its most recent grants. New funds will be available on July 1st, 2021 as extensions and new Funding Agreements are completed.

Please contact our Grants Manager, Suzanne Easton ( by January 10th, 2021 if you believe you meet the above criteria and would like to be considered for a funded extension or a new grant.

updated November 18th, 2020

We’re now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program!

Headwaters Farm fields

We are now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program 2021 growing season! The Incubator Program leases farmland and equipment, provides trainings, and offers other supports to experienced growers seeking to establish a farm business. We encourage all interested individuals to apply!

Visit the Incubator Application page for information about the program and instructions on how to apply! You can also contact Rowan Steele, our Headwaters Farm Program Manager, at or (503) 935-5355. All application materials are due by 5 PM on Saturday, October 31st, 2020.

Watch these two videos to learn how the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program helps farmers as they launch their farm businesses.

EMSWCD featured in COLT “State of the Lands” report

cover image for COLT 2020 report

EMSWCD’s Headwaters Farm and Mainstem Farm were both featured in the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) “State of the Lands” 2020 report! The feature covers our Headwaters Incubator Program, which leases land and equipment to farmers launching their new farm businesses, and details how a graduate of the program is now farming on the adjacent Mainstem Farm, which was acquired by EMSWCD through its Working Farmland Protection Program.

There are also ten other features in the report detailing the work and successes of land trusts and other organizations working to protect vital natural lands in Oregon.

Read the COLT report here.

Public hearing notice regarding conservation easement: June 23rd, 2020

EMSWCD will hold a telephonic public hearing on June 23rd, 2020 at 1:00 PM in connection with the acquisition of a working farmland easement to encumber property located at SE 322nd Avenue, Gresham, OR 97080 and identified as Tax Parcel numbers 1S4E16B-00300 and 1S4E16B-00400. This easement will ensure the agricultural resource values of the property are protected in perpetuity.

Interested persons may submit written testimony prior to the hearing to Matt Shipkey at, or may attend the hearing in person by calling 1 (877) 568-4106 and using the access code 505-109-629.

Additional information on the working farmland easement may be obtained by contacting Matt Shipkey, Land Legacy Program Manager at (503) 935 5374 or

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