When Rhonda Beeks moved onto her farm in Blaine 6 years ago, her first winter brought more water and mud than she knew how to deal with. With approximately thirty chickens and two horses she realized that she would need a plan for her winter paddock management. Then she received a flyer in the mail about Whatcom CD’s free farm planning program and decided to reach out for assistance.
She called our office and scheduled a free site visit with a Whatcom CD farm planner. During this visit they walked her land and talked about Rhonda’s goals for the property. Our farm planner then drafted up a custom farm plan for Rhonda to use with proposed best management practices and a list of resources to help Rhonda meet her goals.
“The best management practices recommended were excellent and very manageable.” - Rhonda
Over the next five years Rhonda installed new shelters for her horses, gutters on those shelters, additional heavy use footing, and a drainage system for the horses’ heavy use area. Additionally she received a small grant from Whatcom CD to help offset the cost of the heavy use area improvements and the underground outlet.
“The most surprising part of working with Whatcom CD was that we were eligible for a grant and were approved. This helped tremendously with costs”. - Rhonda
After implementing these practices her horse paddock was much more manageable. However, Rhonda still has goals for her property, including water management improvements for her chicken coop and a manure bunker. To meet these goals she can rely on her farm plan and assistance from Whatcom CD.
“The biggest benefit of working with the Conservation District was having help planning.” - Rhonda
When asked if she would recommend working with Whatcom CD to a friend she responded,
“Yes! I have already recommended them to a few farm friends.” – Rhonda