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Conservation Stories: Rhonda Beeks

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Woman holding horse head next to horse shelter
Rhonda Beeks and her horse Sadie in her improved heavy use area

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.

Two structures with gutters in front of grass then drainage rock
Rhonda’s new horse shelters with gutters and the underground outlet drainage system.

“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

If you would like to talk to a farm planner about your property check out our website and schedule a free farm visit by emailing or calling 360-526-2381 x104.


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