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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Community Planning and Economic Development

Share your views on county farm conservation programs. 

Take the 4 question survey

Thurston County’s Community Agriculture Program celebrates the region’s rich agricultural history and promising future.  We are working to:

  • Protect farmland and support farmers with innovative updates to rules and policies.
  • Help farmers navigate county permits and enroll in land conservation programs or easements.
  • Help farmers maintain productive farms, while protecting the environment.
  • Coordinate with regional partners to support a viable local agricultural economy.

Program Elements

Thurston County is currently reviewing which lands are protected for agriculture of long-term commercial significance through its Long-Term Agriculture (LTA) zoning and designation.


  • May- July 2023 - Planning Commission Review & Public Hearing (Public Hearing scheduled for June 21, see details in Public Participation section below)
  • August 2023 - SEPA Determination
  • Sept - May 2024 - BoCC Review & Public Hearing
  • Fall 2024 - Final Action Expected

Find Out What Was Said at Past Meetings

Thurston County hosted seven stakeholder group meetings from October 2022 to February 2023. Review past agriculture stakeholder meetings.

Thurston County government partners with farmers and ranchers to use their cows as a tool to improve county prairies. Contact the county's Agriculture Manager to find out how conservation grazing or an easement could work for you.  

Conservation grazing is proving to be very helpful in the conservation of the county's native prairies. As cows graze on an open prairie, they remove a layer of grass allowing the prairie flower seeds an opportunity to bloom again, while also pressuring invasive weeds out. Learn more from Washington State University Extension: 

Conservation Easements

Conservation Grazing  &  Guide to Conservation Grazing (PDF)

Conservation Grazing school

Noxious & Invasive Weed information

The conservation planning program is for landowners (not already enrolled in VSP) with new farms or farm facilities located in critical areas. It allows them to work with technical consultants of their choosing or planners from organizations like the Thurston Conservation District or Natural Resources Conservation Service to prepare a conservation plan specific to their farm site. The conservation plan serves as an alternative tool in place of standard critical area rules and protections.

We received a grant to improve county conservation programs. Help us find out what conservation goals are the most important to you by participating in a four question survey. Click the button below to go to the survey. You can also leave us your contact information and we'll add you to our update list. 

Take the 4 question survey

Learn More

Thurston County maintains a collection of incentive programs that help farmers continue to productively cultivate their land. 

Reach out to our Community Agriculture Program Manager, Kevin Jensen at if you have questions about how these programs work for you.

The Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) provides incentives to farmers who implement critical areas protections and natural resource enhancement on their property. The VSP is the alternative, non-regulatory approach to protecting wildlife habitat, wetlands, and critical aquifers on existing farms while maintaining agricultural productivity. Landowners are encouraged to work with our technical service provider, Thurston Conservation District, to develop stewardship plans specific to their land and farming activities.

The VSP is only successful in partnership with farmers! Share the good work you’re doing to voluntarily protect and enhance natural resources on your farm site by enrolling in the program.

Public Participation

Get involved! We'd love to hear from you.


If you have specific questions about your farm, email the Agriculture Program Manager,