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Vetter Farm

Program Contact: Kathryn Hoogheem, Agriculture Extension Coordinator
(509) 684-2588 •

Vetter Farm: A Farming Demonstration, Research, and Community Facility in the Clayton Valley

Background Stevens County Conservation District (SCCD), Washington State University, and WSU Stevens County Extension developed a partnership to collaborate with the local community to establish a working-lands experimentation facility. The goal is to explore the area’s relevant agricultural and forest management practices and techniques in a manner that benefits the small farmer and landowners. Research and demonstrations include but are not limited to soil health, regenerative agriculture, forest health and resilience, agroforestry, cover cropping, integration of livestock in crops and forests, and reducing the need for pesticides and commercial fertilizers.
These projects will help promote small-scale sustainable agriculture to improve current crops’ yields and create trials for potential new crops for the local climate and soils.

History 5281 Hattery-Owens Road: In 2020 Connie (Klingenberg) Vetter gifted the 158-acre property to Washington State University with the vision of providing a space for applied research and demonstration for the betterment of northeast Washington’s family forest, farm, and ranch owners.
This southern Stevens County property was homesteaded by Martin W. Lee in the 1890s and purchased by the Klingenberg family in the 1940s. The property consists of a farmstead, about 40 acres of forest land, 100 acres of farmable ground, creek, and wildlife habitat. Gus and Mary Klingenberg, Connie Vetter’s grandparents, passed the farm down to her in 2005.

The Farm So Far

The Stevens County Conservation District in partnership
with Washington State University Extension were hard at
work in 2022 developing projects and hosting workshops for
landowners. Last summer we held three events where
landowners got some hands on experience with soils
analysis, permaculture design, plant and weed ID, livestock
grazing management, and much more. the farm also hosted
the Land Judging contest for regional high school teams.

We are grateful for our neighbors and partners who helped
us put in 14 acres of crop seeding rate trials, and hosted 14
cow calf pair and 1 bull for rotational grazing to start to get
the fallowed farm back in working order. The forest area was
also logged to improve health. It’s been a slow start between
red tape and funding, but we’re excited for the projects we
have lined up this year including biosolid and lime-char
applications, pollinator habitat, fencing examples and more!

Events The farm hosts an array of events such as workshops, demonstration tours, and presentations from both local industry figures and regional specialists. SCCD and WSU Extension hope to garner your input to provide citizens with hands-on community-based education and information. We know our best assets are our neighbors, and we look forward to working with you to make this a valuable tool for your farms’ needs. Call Stevens County Conservation District, at (509)684-7579 or sign up on their website for reminders about events.

Current Projects

  • Pollinator Habitat-Test plot of blooming vegetation in a
    fenced area around the wellhead
  • Soil- Limechar and compost amendment application trial
    Crop- (type) seeding of pastures (#)
  • Cattle- Rotationally grazing 14 cow-calf pairs + bull
  • Forest-Post logging improvements and silvopasture
  • Fencing-Style/type demonstration near riparian area
  • Soil Sampling- Forest, and fields 5 & 6

Upcoming Events:

  • April 28th: State Forestry Contest for high school students
  • May 9th: Field Work Day- Join us at 9 am for project
    implementation! Contact us to volunteer!
  • June 3rd: Open House-BBQ, soil workshop with Craig
    Madsen from Healing Hooves, and a farm & project tour
  • July 15th: Farm and Fields Day—Soil amendments and
  • Sep. 23rd: Fall Farm and Livestock Day— Butchering,
    markets, economics of livestock operations, and carcass
  • TBD: Tractor and Chainsaw Training- Learn to drive
    tractor and run chainsaw

Funding There is no dedicated funding allocated to this farm yet. Funding for the work at the Vetter Farm will come from donations, research grants, and proceeds of the crops grown on-site. The start-up of the farm will be through cooperative sharecroppers doing custom farming.

We need your help to develop this farm to meet the needs of local landowners and farmers. SCCD is looking for:

  • Advisory members to help with planning and outreach for programs and projects
  • Farm equipment owners interested in custom farming or sharecropping parts of the farm
  • Livestock owners in need of additional forage and willing to demonstrate pasture management practices.
  • Equipment and supplies donations—we’re happy to
    utilize your extra stuff that’s taking up space!
  • Your ideas! Let us know what practices you’re
    interested in learning about and seeing on the farm;
    we aim to develop projects that directly support the
    needs of local landowners

The farm is located at 5281 Hattery-Owens Road in Deer Park, WA. For more information or to get on the outreach list regarding the Vetter Farm updates or SCCD events, please call (509)684-7579 or email