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. If you are interested in receiving emails about upcoming classes and events, please sign up for the Small Acreage Program Listserv .
Classes, workshops, tours, and other events are offered throughout the year. See below for upcoming events and resources:
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 29 – November 14, 6-9pm, Where: Hazel Dell, WA Cost: $35/person or $50/family – up to two attendees. (partial scholarships are available on a limited basis) Registration: Before you register, you must take a pre-registration survey. This helps us ensure the class will be a good fit for you.
Class size is limited to 30 students and registration fills quickly, so fill out the survey soon! 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 or to be added to the wait list for 2019 classes, contact WSU Clark County Small Acreage Coordinator at email@example.com or 564-397-5729
Ten farms opened their doors to the public on Saturday, September 15, to show the bounty of local agriculture in Clark County and gave neighbors an opportunity to tour and meet their area farmers. Over one thousand 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 and sold farm fresh products.
What: Annual Harvest Celebration When: 2nd Saturday in September Where: Farms throughout Clark County Cost: FREE Registration: not needed. Just show up! 2018 Map: 2018 Harvest Celebration Program
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:
WSU Women in Agriculture – October 27
On Saturday, October 27, the 2018 Women in Agriculture Conference will offer women in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska a unique opportunity to gather in 34 different locations for a one-day event featuring knowledgeable speakers, inspiring stories, networking with other producers and practical advice for learning new skills. This year’s event “Pump Up Your Financial Fitness” covers the topic of strengthening your farm operation with a healthy cash flow. Locally, the conference will be held at the WSU Clark County Extension at the Heritage Farm.
The financial management of an agricultural business often takes a back seat to the production aspects of the operation, but it matters how you manage your cash flow to be successful as a farmer. Learning and using strategies to project and manage the cash flow will make a difference in farm sustainability. This interactive and engaging conference will motivate women in agriculture to become better financial managers. The format of this conference enables us to offer our headline speakers at all locations, while still tailoring the conference content for each region. Last year, nearly 600 women attended at the various sites.
The lineup for the day includes Robin Reid, farm economist and LaVell Taylor, farm analyst, both with Kansas State University. Both speakers are also farmers and understand the importance of sound record keeping. Conference participants will leave with the best strategies to start projections for next year, know how to monitor cash flow against actual income, manage family living expenses and the record keeping tools. Sarah Beth Aubrey, author, farmer and owner of Aubrey Coaching and Training, will provide the tools to help women be successful and profitable doing “what they love most.” Her message is about new ways to prioritize and balance the work between, farming, family and personal time. Her ideas for encouraging young women to farm and how to develop the management skills with women you employ are most valuable for continued farming success.
We will have a local panel of women farmers who have been successful in their financial management methods. They will explain their best financial strategies and how they bring balance to their daily jobs and responsibilities. This conference is designed for women who are farming, as well as new and aspiring farmers. Supporting spouses, students, interns or people who own an agriculture-related business are also welcome. Financial lenders can learn the best practices for financial management.
The conference registration fee is $35, but if you register between now and October 14, you will receive the early bird special of $30. The conference registration fee includes the workshop, light breakfast, lunch and conference materials.
Many of us think spring is the season for planting. The temperatures are warming up and we want to get out in the garden and dig in the dirt. But here, west of the Cascades, where we get most of our rainfall between October and May, the best time to start planting trees and other vegetation is in the fall. Come out to our Riparian Restoration workshop to learn about the best native plants to plant along rivers, streams, lakes and ponds to improve aesthetics and health. The class will be held at La Center Middle School and along East Fork Lewis River. Participants will learn about and see riparian restoration in a combination of classroom instruction and nature walk.
Cows and horses produce 50-60 lbs of manure daily. Learn how to turn your mountain of manure into a resource in this workshop that will teach proper manure management and composting. Hear valuable advice from Doug Stienbarger, Director of WSU Clark County Extension and natural resources specialist.
When: Tuesday, July 31 OR
Wednesday, October 3 Time: 6-9 PM Where: Location provided upon registering 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.
For more information: contact WSU Clark County Small Acreage Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 564-397-5729
Small Acreage Expo
WSU Clark County Extension and the Public Works Clean Water Program celebrated the 13th Annual Small Acreage Expo on Saturday, April 14 at the 78th Street Heritage Farm. Over 100 people attended this information- and fun-filled event. Eleven different workshops were held throughout the day on topics such as sustainable pasture management, composting, addressing landscape drainage and landscaping with native plants.
Participants also had the opportunity to peruse educational booths to learn more about local organizations and agencies serving the small acreage community.
What: Small Acreage Expo When: Annually in April Where: 78th Street Heritage Farm Cost: $15 for preregistration. $25 for walk-ins Program: 2018 Small Acreage Expo Program
For more information: contact WSU Clark County Small Acreage Program Coordinator at email@example.com or 564-397-5729
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.
Vossenberg Farm Tour September 29
WSU Clark County Extension’s Small Acreage Program and Vossenberg Farm in Ridgefield will host a tour of the 26 acre commercial horse stable and training facility on Saturday, September 29. We invite the public to view practices that reduce mud, control runoff, manage manure, and much more. In 2005, the Small Acreage program recognized the Vossenberg Farm with a Doing Our Part For Clean Water sign for implementing stewardship practices to protect water quality and natural resources.
Tour participants will hear from Anna Collier, competitive rider, trainer, and farm manager. She will talk on strategies she uses to manage Vossenberg Farm effectively and care for horses stabled there. Participants will also get tips and share ideas for dealing with common issues on small acreage properties.
Tour a 3-acre property to see stewardship practices in action. In 2016, the Brumigan’s small acreage was recognized by WSU Clark County Extension as a Model Property for demonstrating a commitment to stewardship by implementing practices to control runoff, reduce mud, manage manure, and maintain healthy pastures. Tour participants will have the opportunity to get tips on keeping horses, and gain ideas for improving management practices.
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 …
Drainage – havegutters and downspouts on your buildings; and your runoff does not discharge directly into streams, creeks, or ditches?
Vegetation features – havevegetation around steams, creeks, and wetlands; livestock fenced out or restricted from waterways?
Limited erosion & compaction – havelimited areas of bare soil?
Inspected septic – know the location and type of septic system and when it was last inspected; limit activity on drainfield?
Protected Wellhead – know where your well is located and wellhead is adequately protected?
Safe chemical & fuel storage – store your chemicals and fuels properly away from wells and septic systems?
Livestock manure – manage manure to minimize nutrient runoff?
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.
Are you a small acreage farmer looking to improve your business? The Ag Entrepreneurship & Business Planning Class can help you develop a successful business plan for your farm business.
This 10 week course occurs every winter. The current 2018 is full. Class topics include business planning, marketing, research methods, budget and record keeping, taxes, regulations and much more. Classes are taught by local farm marketing specialists, accountants, attorneys, agricultural professionals, and farmers sharing their farming and marketing experience. At the end of the course, students will emerge with a full business plan to take with them to guide their farm business decisions into the future.
Registration is $100 per family or farm. Partial scholarships are available on a limited basis.
For more information or to be placed on the wait list for 2019 classes, contact the WSU Clark County Small Acreage Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 564-397-5729