The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) is and does exactly what it’s name denotes ………………. Voluntary Stewardship. There are no mandated actions, everything is willing and grants fund the projects. The landowner is involved with the planning, kept apprised of the work and is credited by being cooperative.
Ranchers and Farmers lives are intertwined with the environment. We can not exist without being in a balance with our natural environment. As landowners are invited to participate, their inclination is to cooperate with projects that improve critical areas, particularly when greater regulation and possible penalties are avoided.
The North Yakima and South Yakima Conservation Districts have been a tremendous asset in moving VSP to implementation and beyond in Yakima County. The Conservation Districts are noted for sensible approaches to technical problems which also adds to land owner “buy-in”.
The Yakima County Farm Bureau has been involved in advancing VSP from day one! The panel that directs the program often has three Yakima FB board members attending the quarterly meetings. Your Farm Bureau is deeply invested for the long haul in this program.
The Washington State Farm Bureau deserves very special credit for causing this program to be approved by the Washington State Legislature several years ago.
Most honorable mention goes to past WSFB CEO, John Stuhlmiller. John still looks after VSP though he is no longer with WSFB.