Robin Probst is current the vice president of the Whatcom County Dressage and Eventing Association. Her partnership with Whatcom Conservation District includes conservation planning, soil testing, barn gutter rebate, small farm grant program, manure spreader loan. She was featured as a small farm makeover in Northwest Horse Source magazine in December 2018! Robin currently collaborates with friends to manage a residential horse property in central Whatcom County.
Read on to learn about Robin Probst and her Farm Planning experience!
Q: How long have you lived here in Whatcom County?
A: I have lived in Whatcom County since 1969 except for 7 years in Illinois 1975-1983 attempting farming. That is a whole story in itself :)
Q: What brought you to this area?
A: I grew up in Tacoma but first came to Whatcom County when I attended WWU. I graduated in 1973 with a degree in Art Education. Coming back here from Illinois we looked into a job in Montana but it just wasn’t for us. We returned out here and love the mountains, sea and beaches.
Q: What types of animals are you raising? Crops?
A: The 4 horses, two cats are the only livestock I am tending at the moment. I have helped with raising market hogs, Black Angus beef, raised soybeans, wheat and corn when living in Illinois.
Q: How did first learn about the Whatcom CD?
A: Beside hearing about the conservation programs offered to the farmers in Illinois, made me curious what helps were being offered to small farmers here. I attended the Small Farm Expo in Lynden and listened to the presentation on the grants being offered. Mud was a huge issue at my farm at that point. I applied and received the $3000 grant to build all weather paddocks for 4 horses.
Q: When you first started working with the Conservation District, what was your initial impression of the prescribed farm plan?
A: I was excited to have a farm plan to improve my property and best management practices. There was nowhere to go up! I was interested in the cost share and improving animal health and well-being. Making care more efficient was also a motivator.
Q: What changes have you noticed on your property after installing various Best Management Practices (BMP)?
A: I have noticed the animals are wasting less hay in the mud in the winter, they don’t get mud fever (scratches) from standing in mud all day. My older horse doesn’t slip and slide (everything is on a slope). Their feet as a rule are healthier.
For more information on Whatcom CD's free and confidential Farm Planning services visit: www.whatcomcd.org/small-farm