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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

pet waste
Manure management on small farms or acreages - Guidance

Is manure part of the water quality problem in your area? Here are some tools and ideas that might help.

Tools to use

Poster and fact sheet
Need a poster about the problem with manure? How about a flier or fact sheet? Download these and customize them to include your contact information. Print them back-to-back or separately.

Ideas for you

Posters and fact sheets can’t get the job done alone. Here are some more tips on how to promote watershed protection. Use messages that fit your audience. Highlight benefits and minimize barriers —offer products and services, promote messages in places people go and develop partnerships.

Some related messages

  • Keeping manure out of the rain can keep it out of our waters.
  • Bacteria from manure can make fish and shellfish unfit to eat and water unsafe to drink or to swim in.
  • Cost sharing may be available.
  • Good manure management can prevent parasite re-infestation.
  • Animal health = less $ spent at the vet.
  • Managing manure can help reduce mud in a farm yard or paddock.
  • Be a good neighbor to your waters.
  • Others want the valuable compost.

Ways to get your message out

On products or with services:

  • Offer volunteer assistance.
  • Offer design assistance on fencing and shelters.
  • Promote free advice and resources available from local conservation districts.
  • Provide free camouflage tarps for cover.

In places people go:

  • Website that offers resources.
  • 1-800 number to offer assistance/information
  • Conservation district office
  • Local coffee spot/diner
  • High school 4-H, FFA and environmental clubs.
  • Provide a tour of a model farm.
  • Special events and meetings.

Through media and message carriers:

  • Pitch a news story to your local newspaper about model farmers.
  • Bill inserts.
  • Community newsletters.
  • Submit a column to Hobby Farm magazine.
  • Create a “how-to” guide in the form of a booklet, CD or website.
  • Use billboards in small concentrated communities

With partners:

  • Feed stores
  • 4-H, FFA (Future Farmers of America)
  • Large animal veterinarians
  • Organic gardeners

Motivating change

Use tools and methods that help people participate. These should help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

  • Share success stories — brochure, website, CD.
  • Start a blog for other participants to share their success stories.
  • Give participants a “model farmer” sign that allows them to offer compost to others.
  • Publish model farmers’ names in a paid advertisement to give them the recognition they deserve.

More resources

Conservation Districts – statewide links and a map

Salmon safe guidelines on farming practices that protect water quality

Washington State University Small Farms Program – county contacts and classes for landowners.

Living on the Land” - a 12-week course offered by WSU

Horses for Clean Water” - developed by Alayne Blickle

Tips on Land and Water Management for Small Farms in Whatcom County

Thurston County Conservation District

 get the Washington Waters logo



Links to all the posters and factsheets for all three regional campaigns