Small Acreage Program

The Small Acreage program provides educational workshops and other outreach to residents on how to manage issues such as mud and manure management, fencing and pasture management, and other water quality topics unique to rural properties.

Classes, workshops, tours, and other events are offered throughout the year. See below for upcoming events:
– Well & Septic Workshops
– Model Property Assessments
– Living on the Land
– Best Practices on Your Small Acreage Workshops
– Farm Tours

Well & Septic Workshops

When: Wednesday, June 21   OR
Wednesday, August 16   OR
Wednesday, September 20   OR
Time: 6-9 PM
Where: CASEE Building B – 11104 NE 149 St, Brush Prairie, WA
Cost: $15/household

What: Homeowners with septic systems and wells are invited to attend the Well and Septic workshop to learn valuable tips about maintaining their septic system and protecting their water supply. Clark County homeowners with owner-occupied, gravity fed septic systems can get certified to perform their own septic inspection at the workshop, saving money while learning important maintenance tips.  Gravity fed septic systems must be inspected every three years with every other inspection performed by a certified O&M professional.

Septic inspection training and well safety tips will be presented by officials from Clark County Public Health, who help homeowners meet regulations protecting surface and ground water by ensuring septic systems and wells operate properly. By participating in the workshop and taking a short exam, homeowners can perform their next septic inspection and file it with Clark County Public Health rather than hiring a certified O&M professional to do it.

How can I sign up!? Online registration is available at http://2017septic.brownpapertickets.com/

For more information: contact Amber Lefstead, WSU Clark County Small Acreage Program  Coordinator at amber.lefstead@wsu.edu or 360-397-6060 ext. 5729

Small Acreage Recognition Program

The Small Acreage Program, supported by Clark County’s Clean Water Program, wishes to publicly recognize residents who are implementing clean water management practices on their acreage. If you or someone you know are doing good things on their small farms or rural property to protect our water, please let us know!

Do you manage your small acreage in ways that also protect our waters? Do you …Doing Our Part for Clean Water sign

  1. Drainage – have gutters and downspouts on your buildings; and your runoff does not discharge directly into streams, creeks, or ditches?
  2. Vegetation features – have vegetation around steams, creeks, and wetlands; livestock fenced out or restricted from waterways?
  3. Limited erosion & compaction – have limited areas of bare soil?
  4. Inspected septic – know the location and type of septic system and when it was last inspected; limit activity on drainfield?
  5. Protected Wellhead – know where your well is located and wellhead is adequately protected?
  6. Safe chemical & fuel storage – store your chemicals and fuels properly away from wells and septic systems?
  7. Livestock manure – manage manure to minimize nutrient runoff?
  8. Manage pasture – have few weeds, limited bare soil areas, and little compaction in your pasture?

If you do some or all of these, you should consider applying to receive a Clean Water Sign. The Clean Water Sign shows your neighbors and the public that you are managing your land in ways that also protect our precious local waterways.

Completing our Assessment Guide for Small Acreages will give you an idea if you might qualify to receive this free Clean Water sign.  Send your completed survey to Amber Lefstead at amber.lefstead@wsu.edu and you will be contacted for a site visit to determine if you qualify for a sign.

Living on the Land

Living on the Land is a 12 week class series where small acreage landowners can learn stewardship practices to help better care for their land. Living On the Land participants learn about important topics pertaining to soil, water, plants and animals that guide sound stewardship decisions for small acreage management.  Topics are presented by local and regional experts and include pasture management, controlling weeds, wildlife, soil health, well & septic maintenance, and many more.  Graduates of this training come away with knowledge about how different aspects of their property interact, practices that enhance natural resources, and helpful strategies for improving their property by taking a whole farm approach.  In addition they create a workable property plan for their goals within the stewardship framework learned in class.

When: Wednesdays, August 30 – November 15
6:00 – 9:00pm
Where: The Heritage Farm
1919 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, WA 98665
Cost: $50 per farm or family
Registration: Before you can register, you must take the pre-registration survey. Class size is limited to the first 30 students and registration fills quickly, so fill out the survey early. Upon completion of the survey, you will be contacted and given a registration link. Please allow several days for your survey to be reviewed and registration link sent.

For more information, contact Amber Lefstead, WSU Clark County Small Acreage Coordinator at amber.lefstead@wsu.edu or 360-397-6060 ext. 5729

Small Farm Tours

Rotational grazing at a Horse Homestead

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” … Tours of farms and properties that follow clean water management practices, such as guttering to reduce mud, fencing to keep animals from eroding streams, composting of manure, and siting of outbuildings to improve efficiency, help participants see what is possible on their own property.

July 15 – Yacolt Mountain Farm Tour

Tour a local small acreage farm in Yacolt and get stewardship ideas for your property by seeing practices in action. Yacolt Mountain Farm, an organic, horse-powered farm, was recognized by WSU Clark County Extension as a model property for stewardship in 2015. The farm grows certified organic vegetables and nursery plants, and provides free-range eggs, workshops, and consultations.

When: Saturday, July 15, 10AM – 12PM
Where: Yacolt Mountain Farm
20217 NE Yacolt Mountain Rd., Yacolt, WA 98675
Cost: $10 per person
Registrationwww.YacoltFarmTour.brownpapertickets.com/ 
Liability Release: In order to attend this event and tour Yacolt Mountain Farm, you must sign a liability release, available here: WSU RELEASE Yacolt Mountain Farm

July 22 – Horse Homestead

A tour of a 3 acre Horse Homestead in Battle Ground will be offered on Saturday, July 22 and will show participants stewardship practices in action. If you are considering bringing horses onto your property, touring this homestead will demonstrate how rotational grazing and sacrifice areas can keep your small acreage healthy and mud free.

When: Saturday, July 22, 10AM – 12PM
Where: 20417 NE Bridlewood Rd., Battle Ground, WA
Cost: $10 per person
Registrationwww.horsehomestead.brownpapertickets.com/ 

Workshops and Training

The Small Acreage program offers workshops throughout the year on issues of interest to rural landowners. Topics include mud and manure management, pasture management, wells and septic maintenance, fencing for livestock, and more! See below for our upcoming offerings:

July 12 – Optimizing Soil Health with Martha Minich

This workshop explores how to improve soil fertility and soil structure through a number of best practices, including no-till and reduced till practices, maintaining biodiversity, organic fertilizers, cover crops, and soil testing.  Participants will learn from Dr. Martha Minnich, a WSU Master Gardener and soil chemist for over 30 years.

When: Wednesday, July 12, 6-9pm
Where: 4700 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, WA  98665
Cost: $10 per person
Registration: www.soilsclass.brownpapertickets.com 

August 22 – Native Vegetation Landscaping with Vanessa Nagel

This workshop will teach participants how to landscape with native plants, covering good deer resistant, drought tolerant and flood tolerant plants, and different garden layouts and themes. Participants will learn how to prevent erosion, address drainage challenges, and plan rain gardens.

When: Tuesday, August 22, 6-9pm
Where: 4700 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, WA  98665
Cost: $10 per person
Registrationcoming soon!

Publications and Videos

Finding Services

Managing Runoff

Wells and Septic Systems

Land Management

Stream Buffers for Agricultural Lands

Pasture and Grazing Management

Managing Manure

Other Resources

Annual Report & Impacts

Small Acreage Program 2015 Annual Report (4.9 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2014 Annual Report (7.9 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2013 Annual Report (6.5 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2012 Annual Report (5.5 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2011 Annual Report (3.7 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2010 Annual Report (1.8 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2009 Annual Report (467 KB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2009 Annual Report: Appendices (3.9MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2008 Annual Report (516 KB PDF)
Small Acreage Program 2008 Annual Report: Appendices (2.7 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2007 Annual Report (792 KB PDF)
Small Acreage Program 2007 Annual Report: Appendices (7 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2006 Annual Report (572 KB PDF)
Small Acreage Program 2006 Annual Report: Appendices (6.4 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2005 Annual Report (570 KB PDF)
Small Acreage Program 2005 Annual Report: Appendices (6.6 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2004 Annual Report (400 KB PDF)
Small Acreage Program 2004 Annual Report: Appendix A (6.8 MB PDF)

Small Acreage Program 2003 Annual Report (1.9 MB PDF)