What's your connection to the land?
We are the 4th generation of our family stewarding Kristoferson farm on Camano Island. Our great grandfather, Alfred Kristoferson, purchased the property in 1912 while his primary business was Kristoferson Dairy in Seattle. Just two years later, he died leaving the farm and dairy to his son, August, Sr. Although a business in its own right, Kristoferson Farm was primarily a labor of love for August. His children, August, Jr., Alfred, and Marjorie grew up on Mercer Island with the farm as their second home.
August Jr., our dad, worked at the dairy in Seattle and enjoyed weekend farming on Camano raising beef cattle and hay. Our mom, Pat, managed the farm on her own for over 20 years after our dad died, leasing the property to cattle breeders and alpaca farmers. Planning for the future, she made passing ownership and responsibility of the farm to our generation a top priority. The farm holds a special place in our hearts and we are actively going about the business of preserving this treasure for future generations operating a zipline canopy tour in the forest, a timber operation, and a certified organic hay and lavender farm.
What actions have you taken as a steward that you're most proud of and/or that you feel have made the biggest difference?
As our generation took over management of the property from our Mom, we took classes and sought expertise from government agencies. We developed a Forest Stewardship Plan through a Coached Planning course and took a Small Farming class. Using the resources available to us at the Snohomish Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Department of Natural Resources, and WSU Extension among others; we have been able to undertake a number of conservation projects to improve fish passage, wildlife habitat, and environmental diversity.
What’s your hope for the next 75 years? (or) What advice do you have for those next 75 years?
Our mission: Kristoferson Farm celebrates family, honors heritage and respects the land. We hope that this mission still rings true for future generations of the family and community. Our advice would be to seek consensus among owners and board members on a vision for the property, develop a plan to implement the vision, and enlist the talents of experts to assist in making your vision a reality.