Like many of you, we have had to adjust the ways in which we do our work due to COVID-19. One particular challenge has been moving forward with certifying and re-certifying farms as Salmon-Safe, which requires a site assessment that has historically been in person with a third party assessor. After some diligent work by the Salmon-Safe team, we are thrilled to have protocols in place for virtual assessments of farms during the 2020 growing season and beyond. Growers, Salmon-Safe staff, and independent assessors will work together on Zoom or similar online conferencing platforms. These virtual assessments replace customary on-site assessments for the time being. For existing Salmon-Safe certified farms, we also have the flexible options of doing a virtual re-assessment or offering a 12-month extension of certification to these farms. We are very excited to have these new protocols in place that allow us to keep this program running smoothly and continue our partnerships with local farms. If you are interested in becoming Salmon-Safe or re-certifying, please email us.
One specific area we plan to put our virtual assessment practices in place is Mason County. Stewardship Partners recently received grant funding from Squaxin Island Tribe to do Salmon-Safe outreach to growers in Mason County. Our hope is to bring new farms on board with Salmon-Safe, and we also have scholarship funding to help cover the fees associated with certification. If you know of any growers in Mason County who would be interested in learning more about Salmon-Safe, please email us. We look forward to working with new farms and acknowledging the good work being done by local growers.