Preserving Sustainable Farming
Apr 13, 2020
Steve Crider of Viva Farms
Preserving Sustainable Farming

Viva Farms’ aim is to preserve sustainable farming by creating a strong and just local food system. Viva Farms empowers aspiring and limited-resource farmers by providing bilingual training in holistic organic farming practices, as well as access to land, infrastructure, equipment, marketing and capital. Established in 2009, it is a non-profit Farm Business Incubator and Training Program that operates two locations in Skagit County and one in King County. Viva lowers the barriers for beginning farmers to create opportunities for success, has educated over 900 small farmers (150+ Spanish speakers) in sustainable organic farming, and is currently incubating 24 independent farm businesses (7 Latino owned).

Steve Crider, Viva’s Farm-to-School Lead, has spent his professional working life in the organic food and agriculture movement. Steve is deeply committed to collaborating with others to create a more sustainable and just food system. Prior to joining Viva Farms, his work includes time with Amy’s Kitchen, Cascadian Farm and CF Fresh (Viva Tierra). For the past four years he has served on the Board of Directors of Oregon Tilth until stepping down in June 2018. Steve set off for Japan in 1983 to meet Masanobu Fukuoka, author of One Straw Revolution and eventually spent nine years there where he helped found the organic food import company, Taneyama ga Hara, Ltd. On the local front here in Skagit County, Steve has volunteered with the Burlington-Edison School system, and served on the Boards of Directors for Neighbors in Need Foodbank, META Performing Arts and Burlington Little School. Steve was the 2012 recipient of the annual “The Flash of Silver” Award for local food security endeavors.