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Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Rossiter, David A.
Whitley, Cameron T.
Local food movements are growing in popularity across the United States. Communities are interested in gaining more control over their food choices and food sources. Northwest Washington is one area where multiple communities are concerned with their food choices. Over the last 10 years, communities have invested increasing amounts of resources and energy in growing grains in San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom counties rather than importing all their grain from Eastern Washington. This study examines how grain agriculture has changed both climatically and culturally in Northwest Washington since the late 19th century. To address this knowledge gap, climatic factors, like temperature, are analyzed to understand how the climate has changed and will change in the future. Further, this research explores the impact that local communities have on grain agriculture and local food systems in Northwest Washington. My findings suggest that community interest in local grains is increasing, leading to larger investment in local, small farms and businesses using local grains. However, many farmers and bakers are concerned with the longevity of this movement in the face of climate change, unsure of how production will be affected by changing temperatures and precipitation. This aligns with climatic models that suggest decreasing climatic suitability for optimal growth thresholds for winter wheat in Northwest Washington.
GIS, climate, grain
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Grain--Washington (State); Climatic changes--Washington (State); Social change--Washington (State); Local foods--Washington (State); Geographic information systems
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Furness, Natalie, "Against the Grain: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of the Effects of Climatic and Cultural Changes on Grain Agriculture in Northwest Washington" (2023). WWU Graduate School Collection. 1221.