manure matters

Whatcom Conservation District is doing an ad/education campaign 

WHATCOM — In springtime especially, farmers are applying manure to their crop fields. While some local farm types, such as dairy, are regulated on manure use, others farm types are not.

The Whatcom Conservation District is launching a public education campaign called “Manure Matters.” It will provide information on the steps farmers must take to protect water quality in local streams, rivers and bays and cultivate a public understanding of how and why farmers recycle manure as an organic crop nutrient and soil amendment. 

Educational and humorous ads will run in local newspapers and on websites, radio and social media throughout the spring and summer. The campaign is funded by a Washington State Department of Agriculture grant created from fines issued for improper manure management. The district says it is “recycling” those funds back to the community. 

The public education ads will direct visitors to the district’s “Manure Matters” webpage at for more information.

In addition to providing the community with information on how farmers recycle manure, the page provides links to additional resources available for farmers including grants, technical assistance and scientific research on the benefits of manure as a crop nutrient and soil amendment. The Whatcom Conservation District also coordinates the Manure Spreading Advisory, Application Risk Management decision support tool, and a manure spreading text alert system for all manure users to provide the information they need to be the best stewards of their land and protect water quality.

The “Manure Matters” campaign will include a series of ads with different themes representing the variety of manure producers and users in Whatcom County. The conservation district hopes to remove the stigma around manure, bring a positive view to a valuable resource and increase its appropriate use that is protective of water quality.

Topics that will be discussed within education materials will include the benefits of manure to soil and plants, how manure moves in the environment, manure spreading dates and setback requirements, the science of odor, fences and buffers, winter manure handling, and general protection of water quality using best management practices.