Climate Change photo identifier

2008 Climate Action Team (CAT)

Forestry & Agriculture
Agricultural Sector Working Group

The Agricultural (Ag) Sector Workgroup on Climate Change Mitigation has been convened to develop recommendations regarding how agricultural lands may participate voluntarily to help Washington State meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations to be developed by the Ag sector group were called for by the State Legislature in major climate change legislation passed in the 2008 session. The Ag sector group will work in consultation with the larger Climate Action Team, led by the Director of Ecology, Jay Manning and Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development Director Juli Wilkerson. Washington Department of Agriculture Director Robert Gore is a member of that team.

One way ag lands may participate is to sell carbon emission reduction “credits” to power plants or other entities required to reduce their emissions in the future, such as by the regional “cap and trade” system being designed by the Western Climate Initiative, of which Washington is a member. Agricultural lands act as sinks for atmospheric carbon, and careful accounting for those functions could create sellable credits. In fact, proactive Washington farmers were the first in the world to market soil carbon and the first in the nation to market a methane avoidance credit. The recommendations will address agricultural lands and practices, agricultural products, and agricultural lands set aside or managed for conservation as of, or after, July 1, 2008.

This workgroup will meet regularly from June through October, and is being convened by Washington Department of Agriculture Hydrologist and Natural Resource Assessment Section Supervisor Kirk Cook and Chad Kruger, Interim Director and BIOAg Educator at Washington State University Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR). Materials will be posted to this site, and meetings are open to the public.

Final Recommendations

Meetings and Agendas
(all documents are in PDF format)

October 20, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Moses Lake, WA
Meeting Summary
Meeting Documents:

September 22, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Moses Lake, WA
Meeting Summary
Meeting Documents: 

August 15, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., (via videoconferencing sites in Olympia, Moses Lake, and Spokane)
Meeting Summary
Meeting Documents:

July 14, 2008,, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Moses Lake, WA
Meeting summary
Meeting Documents:

June 23, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Moses Lake WA
Meeting Summary
Meeting Documents:

Additional Workgroup Documents

Background Documents

Team Members


  • Kirk Cook, Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Chad Kruger, Washington State University: CSANR


  • Jim Armstrong, Spokane County Conservation District
  • Larry Cadwell, Cherryview Farms
  • Dan DeRuyter, George DeRuyter and Sons Dairy
  • Ted Durfey, Natural Selection Farms
  • Mark Fuchs, Washington Department of Ecology
  • Patrick Mazza, Climate Solutions
  • Warren Morgan, Double Diamond Fruit
  • Maurice Robinette, Washington Sustainable Food and Farm Network
  • Ron Schultz, Washington State Conservation Commission
  • Mark Sheffels, Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association
  • Craig Smith, Northwest Food Processors Association
  • John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau
  • Randy Uhrich, Washington Association of Wheat Growers
  • Zach Willey, Environmental Defense Fund