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 and resources:

Workshops and Training
Well and Septic Workshops
Small Farm Tours
Model Property Assessments
Living on the Land
Harvest Celebration
Publications

Workshops

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:

Starting A Beehive Workshop – November 14

Whether you are a small farmer looking to increase your crop yields or an urban gardener hoping to support honey bee populations in your community, this workshop will teach you what you need to know to create and care for a hive of honey bees. Learn valuable advice from Charles Bennett, past president of the Northwest Queen Bee Rearing Club. Bennett will discuss how to support local honey bees, how to get started as a beekeeper, and seasonal maintenance tips.

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Location: CASEE Center (room 202). 11104 NE 149th Street, Brush Prairie
Cost: $10/person
Registerhttps://wsubeekeeping.brownpapertickets.com/ 

Well and Septic Workshops

When: Wednesday, August 16 (Full)   OR
Wednesday, September 20   
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 Farm Tours

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.

December 2 – White Oak Alpacas Ranch

Over the past 18 years, Karin and Randy Finch have worked hard to learn and implement stewardship practices on their 30 acre farm in Woodland, and now they want to share what they’ve learned. Come out for a tour of White Oak Alpacas ranch on Saturday, December 2, to get tips on keeping alpacas and gain ideas for improving management practices.  Participants will have the opportunity to tour White Oak Alpacas Ranch, see rotational grazing in action, and learn about practices to manage runoff and reduce mud. This is a great property to tour for any farmers who are thinking about adding alpacas to their land.

When: Saturday, December 2, 11AM – 1PM
Where: Woodland, WA
Cost: $10 per person
Registration: https://alpacas.brownpapertickets.com/

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 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.

When: Wednesdays, August 30 – November 15
6:00 – 9:00pm
Where: The Heritage Farm
1919 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, WA 98665
Cost: $50 per family – up to two attendees. (partial scholarships are available on a limited basis)
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

Harvest Celebration

Baby chick petting at Botany Bay Farm

Ten farms opened their doors to the public on Saturday, September 16 to show the bounty of local agriculture in Clark County and give neighbors an opportunity to tour and meet their area farmers. Over 1300 area residents came out  to participate in a variety of fun-filled events such as animal petting, hay rides, self-guided tours, and photo ops with alpacas. Farms offered tours, edible plant walks, and classes on growing dahlias, alpaca fiber processing, youth finger knitting, and raising backyard chickens, pork and beef.  Participants had the opportunity to meet their local farmers; purchase fresh produce, U-pick, cut flowers, and other farm products; see alpacas, draft horses, chickens, lambs, and other livestock; and tour vegetable fields and flower gardens.

What: Annual Harvest Celebration
When: Annually, the third Saturday in September,  10am – 3pm
Where: Ten farms throughout Clark County
Cost: FREE
Registration: not needed. Just show up!
2017 Map2017 Harvest Celebration Program

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)