This Friday marks the first day of spring! Though it was a mild one, winter is officially at an end and new life will soon begin blossoming across the state in vivid color. And what better way to celebrate than with National Agriculture Day, sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America? It’s a day to celebrate the vibrant-hued fruits of our labor.
In Washington state, apples, cherries, wheat, and other agricultural products bring in millions of dollars each year. Contributing to the bounty are DNR-managed agriculture and grazing land trusts.
In 1889, Congress delegated trust lands to Washington, many of them intended to support the state’s public educational institutions. Today, about 85 percent of the revenue from state trust lands in agriculture and grazing leases helps fund the construction of schools statewide. DNR works with the farmers and ranchers who lease trust lands to assure that the lands remain ecologically sustainable and productive, while protecting public resources such as clean water, fish, and wildlife.
DNR manages more than one million acres of trust lands that are leased or permitted for agriculture and grazing lands. They include:
- 500,000 acres – Grazing leases
- 322,000 acres – Grazing on forested lands (range permits)
- 110,000 acres – Dryland grain crops
- 32,000 acres – Irrigated row crops
- 14,000 acres – Orchards and vineyards
In 2014, agriculture leasing and grazing lands managed by DNR produced roughly $23.5 million in revenue with a significant portion of that revenue used in support of public school construction. The revenue generated from agriculture and grazing lands in 2014 saw a 9.7 percent increase from 2013. The revenue production was divided as follows:
- $6.4 million – Dryland grain crops
- $16.1 million – Irrigated row crops
- $904,858 – Grazing and other production
To learn more about agriculture on DNR-managed lands including information on leases and permits, visit DNR’s Leasing for Agriculture page.
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