Are you wondering what it’s like to work with Whatcom CD? Read on to learn about Michele and her Farm Planning experience.
Q: How long have you lived here in Whatcom County?
A: I moved to Whatcom County in 1987 to attend Western and I never left. My husband and I purchased our current property in April 2018
Q: What types of animals are you raising? What kind of crops are you growing?
A: I am currently just growing pasture for my horse. I'm hoping to add chickens in the future.
Q: How did you learn about Whatcom CD and the Farm Planning program?
A: A friend mentioned the Sound Horsekeeping discussion happening at Sunset Farms in the summer of 2018. Since I was brand new to being a full-time horse owner, I was eager for information and eager to ‘do it right the first time’. The timing of the Sound Horsekeeping discussion was perfect.
Q: What was your first impression of Whatcom CD?
A: I was impressed. The conversations were all about education and not about reprimanding or penalizing.
Q: Which topics did you hope to learn about through the farm planning process? A: Animal health was #1, but since this is our first time on a well and also on septic, water quality was also important. I was very interested in the initial soil sample results – and would be interested in have another test done to check on changes. Could this be an every 2-year option? I was surprised – and pleased – to hear about the grant dollars that were available to assist in these projects.
Q: What changes have you noticed on your property after installing various Best Management Practices (BMP)?
A: Incorporating a sacrifice area around the barn – setting up manure retention spaces – renting the manure spreader from WCD – and incorporating a rotation in my sectioned grazing areas in addition to the ‘pasture paradise’ track system that I added – has led to a happy, healthy, RELAXED Arabian horse, as well as a pasture that is looking greener and healthier than ever in just 2 years’ time.
Q: Would you recommend Whatcom CD to your friends and neighbors? A: Absolutely! Education (for me) was the biggest benefit. I have not been a farmer for generations, so any information I can get to make my property healthier and also be easier on the environment as a whole, is priceless.
For more information on Whatcom CD's free and confidential Farm Planning services visit: https://whatcomcd.org/small-farm