Commercial Livestock/Small Farm

dairy Farm

Farm Plans

The Skagit Conservation District provides free technical assistance to local farm landowners interested in improving their property and developing and implementing a farm plan.  A farm plan is a series of actions developed to meet the goals of each individual landowner while protecting water quality and the natural resources.

Some of the things considered in a farm plan are farm size, soil type, slope of the land, proximity to streams or bodies of water, and types of livestock or crops.

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices are defined as physical, structural or management practices that when used singly or in combination, prevent or reduce site-specific water quality problems.  BMPs generally focus on prevention rather than the treatment of water pollution problems caused by agricultural related practices.

Because of the variability in operation, topography, climate, soils and other environmental factors, no one best management practice will be applicable to all activities or situations.  Instead, BMPs must be tailored to the type of operation, the physical conditions and environmental factors.

Cost Share Program

The Skagit Conservation District does have cost share funds available to farm landowners to offset the cost of implementing some best management practices.  To be eligible for cost share funds, the landowner must obtain a Conservation District approved conservation plan and complete a cost share application.  For more information about cost share funds, please contact Jeff Frazier at the Skagit Conservation District by calling (360) 428-4313 ext.1014 or by e-mail at

Click here for Skagit Conservation District’s cost share policy.

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Emmett Wild

Senior Planner

office ext. 1015

mobile: 360.899.8761

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Jeff Frazier

Certified Farm Planner

ext. 1014

mobile: 360.899.8561


Agroforestry is a sustainable land management system that combines the production of perennial and annual crops as well as forest plants and livestock simultaneously or sequentially on the same unit of land to increase yield, realize ecological benefits, and maximize ecosystem services.


Practices and Benefits of Agroforestry

Practices in agroforestry include:

  • Forest Farming

  • Alley Cropping

  • Silvopasture

  • Riparian Buffers (Working Buffers)

  • Windbreaks

Benefits of agroforestry include:

  • Combination of economic production with environmental protection

  • Increased potential to increase production and profitability

  • Providing diversity and flexibility into a production system

  • Increases in wildlife and beneficial insect habitat

  • Creates a more sustainable system

  • Carbon sequestration


For more information or technical assistance, contact Emmett Wild by email at or by phone: office (360) 428-4313 ext. 1015, mobile: 360.899.8761


Washington State Dept. of Ag Water Quality Monitoring Results Map

WSDA has developed an interactive water quality monitoring results map in order to address the high demand from residents for the current water quality readings in their area. This map contains storm event sampling done by WSDA. It does not contain ambient, or enforcement data.  Click on the map below to access live results.

Information in the map is live and updated 1-2 times a week. 

Cows in Pasture

CAFO Information

Links:  (WSDA Livestock Nutrient Management Program) (WSU Skagit County Extension)

Dairy Nutrient Management Program


The purpose of the Skagit Conservation District’s Dairy Nutrient Management Program is to assist licensed dairy operations in complying with the 1998 Washington State Dairy Nutrient Management Act.  The Act requires that all licensed dairy operations obtain a conservation district approved and certified nutrient management plan and that all structural and management practices that are prescribed in the plan are implemented.

Nutrient management is the practice of utilizing dairy nutrients (manure) to maximize forage and crop growth without degradation of soil and water resources.  A Dairy Nutrient Management Plan is a tool used by dairy operators to properly collect, store, transfer and utilize the wastewater and manure that is produced on dairy facilities.  The Plan calculates the amount of wastewater and manure that is or will be produced at each individual facility and documents the collection, storage and transfer systems.  The Plan also specifies dates and conditions when manure should not be applied to crop fields and specifies a manure and soil testing schedule.

Each Plan is specific to each individual dairy operation and is written according to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service standards and specifications.  All structural and management practices that are prescribed in the Plan must also meet or exceed these standards and specifications.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Nutrient Management Program is the agency that oversees the implementation and continued management of Dairy Nutrient Management Plans.  Each dairy operation is inspected at least once every two years by one of the livestock inspectors.  If changes or updates are needed, then the inspector refers the dairy operator to the local conservation district for assistance.

Assess whether your field conditions are appropriate for manure application and much, much more!

Provided by the Whatcom Conservation District

Application Risk Management (ARM) Worksheet

Manure Exchange Program
This is a community resource connecting local farmers who have excess manure on their site with local gardeners/or landscapers who need manure to improve soil in gardens and landscapes. 
It's simple, FREE, and is a great way to recycle valuable nutrients and organic matter. 
For more details on the program, click on our Manure Exchange Program Flier. 

If you have manure you would like to give away, please download and fill out the Manure Share Source List Sign-up Sheet.

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Cover Crop Grant Program.

Cover crops are a great way to recycle nitrogen, improve soil organic matter and carbon sequestration, reduce erosion, improve water quality, and maintain living roots and the soil biotic community. If you are thinking about trying cover crops in your fields, consider applying for a grant with us.

Funding provided by:


Skagit County Voluntary Stewardship Program


Online Virtual Pasture Clinic Presentations and Recordings

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