MOSES LAKE, Washington – Recently, the popular TV show, Washington Grown, received a large grant from the
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to expand its education efforts. Part of that expansion includes a partnership with QFC grocery stores in western Washington.
“While the trend to eat locally grown food is growing, there are still a lot of misconceptions about how farmers grow and raise the food on our plates,” explained one of the program’s Executive Producers, Chris Voigt. Voigt also serves as the executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, which is one of the founders of the project. “We are excited to partner with QFC and other venues to share the stories about Washington’s farmers and how the state’s food system works.” The expansion launched in May and includes a free magazine, promotions, and other educational tools that compliment the Emmy award-winning show. The project centers on the food grown in Washington, farmers, local restaurants and chefs, the supply chain, food manufacturers, and other behind the scenes stories.
“Washington grows more than 300 different crops, plus livestock,” says Voigt. “We grow more than just the world’s best apples. We are also the top state for blueberries, hops, pears, sweet cherries, and spearmint. We also grow the best potatoes in the world. We have the best farmers and grow the best food here. People don’t always think about how lucky we are as Washington eaters to have all this local produce. And most don’t think about all that goes into growing it. The Washington Grown project bridges that gap.”Washington Grown, now in its 10th season, has been funded by food and farm organizations within the state, as well as the WSDA. This year, the WSDA announced that it would be awarding an expanded 4-year grant to the program.
“Over the past several years, the Washington Grown project has done an exceptional job in promoting our state’s
agriculture, informing consumers about where their food comes from, and sharing with all of its viewers the diversity of our agriculture, our farming regions, and the people who grow and produce our food,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said.
“The $3.8 million Specialty Crop Block Grant that WSDA is providing to the Washington Grown project is a worthwhile investment to support our state’s agriculture community and spotlight our extraordinary food and agriculture industries.”
Partnering with local grocers is a big step in connecting more consumers to the farmers who grow their food. Quality Food Centers, better known as QFC, is a supermarket chain based in Bellevue, Washington, with 62 stores in the Puget Sound region. Local food is at the heart of the QFC mission.
“QFC is passionate about providing fresh local products in our neighborhood grocery stores. We are excited to partner with Washington Grown to bring more attention to locally grown produce so people can make healthy choices to feed their families,” QFC spokesperson Tiffany Sanders said.
You can find more information about the Washington Grown project at wagrown.com