Snohomish Conservation District has five farm planners on staff. Each has a slightly different focus and so we asked each of them to provide a quick note about projects that they're working on right now while Ag Week is going on.
Composting Bins for a Champion's Grandson
Michael Hipp, our Sound Horsekeeping Program Manager / Farm Planner, is currently working to help fund construction of a manure bin for a cooperator in Arlington who just purchased an existing horse property and is creating a sanctuary for retired horses. One of the horses currently being cared for there, J Lackey D, is the 28-year-old grandson of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, and subject of the 2010 award-winning movie "Secretariat". Need help managing manure or ways to be a good horse owner? Contact Michael.
Cover Crop Success in the Stilly!
As shown in the photos below, winter wheat is coming out of its winter dormancy and springing to life as we transition into a new season. Eric Schuh, Senior Resource Planner with SCD, helps Stillaguamish Valley growers by facilitating a financial incentive based program to plant fall cover crops which in turn increase organic matter, reduce erosion, provide feed for migrating waterfowl, and tie up nutrients for the following crop. To learn more, contact Eric.
Young Farmers Learning the Ropes of Ag
Bobbi Lindemulder is our District Operations Program Manager and she helps with operations as well as consults on farm plans. She recently attended an event for young farmers put on the Snohomish County Farm Bureau. At this event, where food brought people together, they learned about family farming, heard from Young Farmer and Rancher lead, Kristen Hinton, the local Farm Bureau young farmer designee Leah Werkhoven, and they raffled off a CHAINSAW! Read the full story here.
Bobbi also assists with WSU Cultivating Success Program. In the photo on the right below, Bobbi (center, front row), along with educator, Holly Small (left, front row in blue) join the 2017 graduating class. For more about the WSU Cultivating Success program, read more here.
Supporting Ag and addressing SWAPA+HE* across the County
Brett de Vries is our farm planner who works primarily with dairies and helps them comply with the State Dairy Nutrient Management Act. Currently, he's working on one dairy farm plan, has secured two grants to help protect the waterways from runoff for two of his dairy cooperators, and is working on efforts for manure distribution throughout the Stillaguamish Valley. Brett also attended the workshop for the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) workshop in Stanwood on Wednesday, March 21. The grant deadline for REAP applications is April 30th. If you have any questions about that program or anything to do with a dairy or commercial ag, reach out to Brett.
*SWAPA+HE = Soil Water Air Plant Animal + Human Energy
Working Towards Sustainable Practices with Ag Land and Forestry
Carrie Brausieck is our farm planner who tends to work with smaller acreage parcels and looks at new ways to farm sustainably. She has been very busy with researching ways to make agriculture more resilient to change through various farming methods to include agroforestry, conservation agriculture, soil health practices such as no-till, biochar, multi-species cover cropping, and more. Learn more Snohomish Conservation District's Ag Resilience plan.
She has also been very busy visiting farmers to discuss soil health, no-till, agroforestry practices, especially food forests, and rainwater catchment. It seems more farmers are becoming interested in establishing nut and fruit trees. And, now that the weather has been steadily improving as we reach spring, soil sampling season is also gearing up so she has been out and about soil sampling for nursery trees, cut flowers, orchard establishment, and veggies.
The photo below is not of anyone's farm around here, but it gives a visual of the types of farming that Carrie has been researching and discussing with landowners on site visits. If you're curious about innovative ways to utilize your land and be conservation minded, contact Carrie.