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Conservation Stories: Ronda Webber & Kirsten Dunford

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

A small child on a horse held by a young woman. Next to them is an older woman holding another young child. They are standing in a heavy use area.
Ronda Webber, Kristen Dunford, & her two young children in their newly improved heavy use area

Ronda Webber and Kirsten Dunford are a family farming team. The mother daughter duo live on a farm outside of Ferndale with their families raising “pretty much any animal that comes to us needing help.”

Pig is touching nose to a Zebu while a young child watches.
Zebu, pig, and Kirsten's daughter next to their newly improved heavy use area.

“We have a non-profit (Magical Carousel Minis) that is focused on training miniature horses for service and therapy. At this point in time, I have miniature horses, miniature cows, miniature donkeys, sheep, goats, small pigs, rabbits, cats, chickens, ducks, and my large guard dog.” – Ronda Webber

“I have two young children so I am limiting myself to my full size horses, pony and the kids’ miniature horses along with my large guard dogs. In 2021 we grew pumpkins and gourds. We are working on expanding that for 2023.” – Kirsten Dunford

Ronda and Kirsten’s family have been in Whatcom County for several generations, but it wasn’t until 2016 that they bought their current property and took up farming. They loved their new property, but being new farmers, they wanted to make sure their thoughts on land usage matched best management practices. Seeking more information, Ronda attended a farm event in 2017 and met Whatcom CD staff. After that event, she reached out for a free and confidential farm plan.

“I wanted to make sure my thoughts on the land and usage matched up with best practices and the laws. I really wanted to speak with someone who could give me the answers without worrying about saying the ‘wrong thing.’ We have continued to work with the district because of the benefits: equipment and money.” – Ronda Webber

Two horses facing towards the camera in a pen with new footing.
Two horses in newly improved heavy use area.

Since that original farm plan, Ronda and Kirsten have participated in several Whatcom CD programs including our manure spreader rental, free soil samples, free tarps, small farm rebate program, and small grants program. Through the small grants and rebate program, Whatcom CD helped fund new footing and gutters on two different heavy use areas. With the increased knowledge and financial support, Ronda and Kirsten have noticed a difference for their farm.

“The animals are on drier ground which makes them happier and healthier. My daughter and I are also much happier since we are not dealing with mud.” –Ronda Webber
“I love my winter area. It is amazing to not have mud with all of the rain we just had.” – Kirsten Dunford

Ronda and Kirsten plan to continue improving their farm into the future with some help from Whatcom CD. “We are hoping to build a large structure that will house all the animals, an education room, an arena, and more. I would love to work with the CD if they can give us any tips or ideas. We are also looking into raising chickens for meat and will be borrowing the poultry processing equipment if possible. We are moving forward on putting in fruit trees and other plants along the creek/drainage ditch and I would love to work with the CD on putting in the best plants for the area.” – Ronda Webber

When asked if they would recommend Whatcom CD to their friends and neighbors, Ronda replied, ”Yes. The biggest benefit for most farmers is the grant money, followed by the ability to borrow equipment. I also think the knowledge that can be gained from working with the CD is a huge benefit.” If you would like to work with us on your farm, schedule your free and confidential farm planning visit with us today. Our farm planners can give you personalized advice on best management practices and how you can utilize our other programs.

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