WSU CAHNRS

Washington State University Extension

Clark County

Small Acreage: Living on the Land

 

SMALL ACREAGE OUTREACH PROGRAM:
A curriculum for small acreage land users

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages consists of eight main learning modules. Each learning module has several lessons that relate to and expand on the main theme.

Learning Module 1: Setting the Stage and Inventorying Resources
Learning Module 2: Your Living Soil
Learning Module 3: All Life Depends on Water
Learning Module 4: Living With Wildfire
Learning Module 5: Love Your Grass As Much As Your Animals
Learning Module 6: Don’t Forget The Animals!
Learning Module 7: Business Opportunities
Learning Module 8: Focusing On Stewardship

Module 1: Setting The Stage, Inventorying Resources



1.1 – What Do You Have & What Do You Want? Turning Dreams into Reality
Gain an understanding of the reasons for living on small acreage property. Develop short and long term goals. Complete an inventory and property map.

Lesson Description
Most people who purchase a small-acreage property have an idea of the eventual look and uses they envision for their property. Unfortunately, this vision is sometimes nebulous, incomplete, or unrealistic.  You will be encouraged to focus on short-term and long-term goals for your property. The first step in any land use endeavor is to identify the existing asset(s) of a property. As you come to realize the extent and potential of your physical holdings as well as the limitations and responsibilities, you will be better prepared to set and implement reasonable goals for their properties.

Lesson Objectives
1. Learn what stewardship and sustainability mean.
2. Gain an understanding of their reasons for living on small-acreage properties.
3. Be able to assess and develop clearly defined sets of short-term and long-term goals for their properties.
4. Know how and why to complete an inventory of their property’s facilities and assets.
5. Demonstrate an awareness of different components of their property by creating physical inventory maps.

Activity Sheets 1.1 – What Do You Have?
1. Goal-setting Activity Sheet.
2. Inventorying Property Facilities and Assets Activity Sheet.
3. Physical Inventory Map – existing conditions.
4. Physical Inventory Map – proposed changes.
5. Understanding Legal Descriptions Activity Sheet (optional).
6. Calculating Acreages from Property Maps Activity Sheet (optional).

Supplemental Resources
Best Management Practices for Small Acreages, WSU Clark County Extension
Resource List: Information on Small Acreage Management, WSU Clark County Extension
Natural Resource Conservation Services eFOTG
Washington Soil Survey Reports Online
Tips on Land & Water Management for Small Acreages in SW Washington
Clark County Maps Online, Clark County GIS
Clark County Maps Online Instructions, Clark County GIS

1.2 – What Can You Do? Turning Dreams into Reality
Gain an understanding of human and financial resources and community issues that affect your property. Look at federal, state and county regulations that may place limitations on your property. Work on solutions, compromises or mitigations to minimize these effects. Revise your goals to reflect any limitations.

Lesson Description
Most people who purchase a small-acreage property have an idea of the eventual look and use they want for their property. Unfortunately, this vision is sometimes nebulous, incomplete, or unrealistic. In this lesson, you are encouraged to focus on the human, financial and community issues that may constrain your ability to achieve the goals you have set for your property. Additionally, there may be further constraints on your property in the form of federal, state, county, city and/or local regulations.
These regulations can seriously limit or curtail the short-term and long-term goals you have for your property. It is important for you to understand the limits and constraints on your property in order to develop realistic and obtainable goals.

Lesson Objectives
1. Gain an understanding of human and financial resources.
2. Gain an understanding of community issues.
3. Inventory the human and financial resources and community issues that affect your property.
4. Gain an understanding of the federal, state, county, city and/or local regulations that may affect use of your property.
5. Revise your goal assessment worksheets and physical inventory maps.
6. Inventory potential limitations on your property and create a working list of possible solutions, mitigations or compromises to minimize the effects of the federal, state, county, city and/or local regulations.
7. Maintain a list of contacts or referrals for various land-use issues.

Activity Sheets 1.2 – What Can You Do?
1. Photodocumentation Information Sheet
2. Revised Goals Assessment Activity Sheet
3. Revised Physical Inventory Map
4. Identifying Constraints Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
FAQs: What Can You Do On Your Land?, WSU Clark County Extension
Current Use Taxation, WSU Clark County Extension
Water Rights Information, Washington State Department of Ecology

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Module 2: Your Living Soil



2.1 – Getting Down and Dirty With Soil
Learn about soil texture and structure, the relationship between soil biology and soil fertility, how to minimize the threat of soil erosion, and practical ways to manage soils in order to maintain and/or improve them.

Lesson Description
To begin to understand soils and how to work with them, we must take into consideration how they were formed and their physical, biological and chemical properties. Soil is a functional living system. Understanding soil formation will help in anticipating threats to soil stability and potential soil degradation.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand soil texture and structure.
2. Understand the relationship between soil biology and soil fertility.
3. Understand the threat of soil erosion and how to avoid or minimize the threat.
4. Understand the elements of a good quality soil.
5. Learn practical ways to manage soils in order to maintain and/or improve them.
6. Understand the basics of soil testing and how and where to take a soil sample for testing.

Activity Sheets 2.1 – Getting Down and Dirty With Soil
1. Determine Soil Texture by Feel Part 1: Soil Samples in Class
2. Determine Soil Texture by Feel Part 2: Several Locations on Your Property
3. Survey Your Property for Signs of Erosion or Compaction (Don’t forget to take pictures for your records!)
4. Submit a soil sample to local laboratory

Supplemental Resources
Soils and Soil Testing, WSU Puyallup
A Guide to Collecting Soil Samples for Farms and Gardens, Oregon State University Extension
Analytical Labs and Consultants Serving Ag in the PNW, WSU Puyallup
Determining Soil Texture by Hand (video), Dr. Craig Cogger, WSU Puyallup
Home Gardeners Guide to Soils and Fertilizers, WSU Extension
Building Soils for Better Crops, SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education)

2.2 – Managing Soil to Keep It Productive
Soil testing and the basics of fertilization: soil needs, application, and minimizing pollution. Learn the fundamentals of soil surveys and how to determine soil potential using a soil survey.

Lesson Description
Learning the fundamentals of applying organic and chemical fertilizers is the first step in becoming successful at growing a crop, pasture or garden. If applied correctly, fertilizers can help create healthy plants and increase economic return without increasing pollution. Understanding your property’s soil characteristics in relation to potential uses can save a lot of time, money and frustration. This lesson, the second in the Your Living Soil module, is divided into two sections. The first part of the lesson covers soil fertility as a continuation of the first lesson. The second part of this lesson will explain how to use a soil survey to interpret a soil’s characteristics and capabilities.

Lesson Objectives
1. Learn about soil testing: how to take a sample, how often to test and what test results mean.
2. Learn basics of fertilization: what your soil needs, how much to apply, how often to apply, pitfalls and safety measures to minimize pollution.
3. Learn fundamentals of soil surveys.
4. Learn how to determine soil potential using a soil survey.
5. Practice using the NRCS web-based soil survey tool (on your own).

Activity Sheets 2.2 – Managing Soil to Keep It Productive
1. Soil Test Results Interpretation Activity Sheet
2. Organic Fertilizers Information Sheet
3. Reading the Fertilizer Bag and Fertilizer Application Rates Activity Sheet
4. Soil Survey Interpretation Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Soil Test Interpretation Guide, OSU Extension
Soil Fertility in Organic Systems, WSU Extension
Soil Management for Small Farms, WSU Extension
Fertilizing for Profit, Washington Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon
Cover Crops for Home Gardens West of the Cascades, WSU Extension
Cover Crops for Home Gardens, OSU Extension

2.3 – Got Water?
Look at irrigation, relating soil texture to soil water-holding capacity and drainage, judging water-holding capacity, irrigation water quality, and delivery methods.

Lesson Description
About 90 percent of the world’s fresh water use is for irrigation. How we manage our irrigation water not only affects our crops, but it also affects the quality and quantity of water in our environment. Efficient use of irrigation water grows healthier crops, reduces water pollution and saves money by conserving nutrients and water. By understanding how soil texture and soil depth relate to soil water-holding capacity and infiltration rates, combined with crop needs, rooting depth, climate and evaporation rates, a landowner can begin to make knowledgeable decisions about choosing an appropriate irrigation system and designing an effective irrigation schedule.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the different sources for irrigation water
2. Learn how soil texture relates to soil water-holding capacity and drainage
3. Learn how to judge water-holding capacity
4. Learn how to determine when it is time to irrigate
5. Understand irrigation water quality
6. Understand the different methods of irrigation
7. Apply knowledge of this and previous two lessons to soil water management of their properties

Activity Sheets

Supplemental Resources

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Module 3: All Life Depends On Water


3.1 – Water Quality: Making the Connection between You and the Water
Look at water quality issues and the importance of water quality on small acreages. Gain an understanding of regulations governing water quality and the connection between ground and surface water and your role in protecting or polluting a watershed. You will be able to identify pollution sources on your property and appropriate management practices to address those problems.

Lesson Description
Sufficient quantities of good quality water are essential to us all. In addition to healthy water for drinking, we also depend on good water quality for irrigation, wildlife habitat, recreation, municipal and industrial uses, and simply enjoyment in the landscape. We all play a role in degrading our water supplies through our daily activities. This lesson explains the interaction between humans and water quality, laws that have been created to protect our water, and ways in which small acreage owners can better manage their properties to protect water resources.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand how water quality laws apply to small acreage management, be familiar with the main parameters that are tested to determine water quality, and understand that in protecting water quality, we are also protecting ourselves, wildlife, and our communities.
2. Understand the foundation for regulations governing water quality and how this responsibility has been transferred to the states.
3. Understand the connection between groundwater and surface water and the landowner’s role in protecting or polluting a watershed.
4. Be able to identify potential sources of pollution on your property and implement appropriate management practices to address the problem.

Activity Sheets 3.1 – Water Quality: Making the Connection Between You and the Water
1. Stormwater Management Activity Sheet – fill out & use to design a runoff management plan for your property
2. Stormwater Paths Property Map – Map the direction of runoff water on your property

Supplemental Resources
Management Practices for Small Acreages: Keeping Water Clean, WSU Extension Clark County
Simple Steps to Protect Your Surface and Well Water, WSU Extension Clark County
Clean Water for Washington, WSU Extension

3.2 – Protecting Household Drinking Water
Learn how to protect your well for drinking water and how and when to do water tests, how to interpret the results, and what corrective actions to take.

Lesson Description
Plentiful supplies of high-quality potable water are integral to our daily life. Most homeowners take their drinking water for granted, assuming it is safe to drink, or that “someone” is responsible for monitoring the quality of private domestic water supplies. However, it is the homeowners’ responsibility to test their private drinking water and implement practices that will protect their groundwater quality.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the concepts of groundwater, infiltration, percolation and recharge.
2. Learn how wells are constructed.
3. Identify the source of your drinking water and understand your responsibilities in protecting the quality of your drinking water.
4. Understand how and when to test your water, and how to interpret the results.
5. Be able to assess risks to your water supply and apply corrective actions on your property.

Activity Sheets 3.2 – Protecting Household Drinking Water
1. Domestic Well Maintenance Record Activity Sheet
2. Drinking Water Well Management Activity Sheet
• Assessment 1- Well Location
• Assessment 2- Well Construction and Maintenance
• Assessment 3 – Water Testing and Unused Wells

Supplemental Resources
Protect Your Drinking Water: Simple Tips for Well Maintenance, WSU Clark County Extension
Clark County Water Service Providers List, Clark County Public Health
Simple Fixes for Wellhead Openings, Washington State Department of Health
Twelve Simple Things You Can Do to Protect Your Well Water, OSU Ext
Home Water Saving Methods, WSU Extension
Steps to Shock Chlorinate Your Water System, Clark County Public Health

3.3 – Maintaining Your Septic System
This lesson teaches how septic systems work, along with their management and maintenance. You will also learn how to properly inspect your septic system.

Lesson Description
Homeowners who rely on septic systems for domestic wastewater disposal often are unfamiliar with maintenance needs. Use of household hazardous chemicals, excess usage of garbage disposals, irrigating on top of the leach field, and other practices will affect the function and longevity of septic systems. Regular pumping is essential to maintain septic systems in good working order.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the parts of a septic system.
2. Learn how the septic system works.
3. Understand common causes of septic system failure.
4. Develop and apply a management plan to maintain the septic system.

Activity Sheets 3.3 – Maintaining Your Septic System
1. Septic System Assessment Activity Sheet
• Assessment 1 – Septic ZSystem Design and Maintenance
• Assessment 2 – Onsite System Maintenance
• Assessment 3 – Septic or Sewage Inputs
2. Septic System Maintenance Record Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Protecting Your Investment: Inspecting Your Septic System, WSU Clark County Extension
Save Time and Money: Properly Landscape Your Septic System, WSU Clark County Extension
Don’t Let Your Dollars Go Down the Drain! Septic Tank Additives, WSU Clark County Extension
On-Site Septic System Maintenance, Clark County Public Health
Inspector, Pumper, Designer & Installer Contacts, Clark County Public Health
Homeowner Septic Systems (videos and publications), Washington Department of Health
DIY Septic Inspection Field Guide, Washington Department of Health
Septic Tank Manhold and Access Riser Installation, Thurston County Public Health

3.4 – My Place on a Stream
Learn riparian area function and practices that affect stream health. Inventory your property for potential areas of concern.

Lesson Description
Many people purchase property with a creek, pond, or other water body because they enjoy the sound of running water, the sight of lush green vegetation and birds, or the use of the water for irrigation. These areas are irreplaceable resources that are often poorly understood and managed. Creeks and wetlands are important for water supply and recharge, water filtration, wildlife habitat, flood flow conveyance, and more. As private landowners, much of the responsibility for the health of the water body lies with the resident small-acreage owner.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the functions of a riparian area.
2. Be able to recognize generic signs of a healthy and an unhealthy stream, and will understand how streams degrade and recover.
3. Understand that any action you take on streams on your property may affect the water body both upstream and down.
4. Be able to inventory your property for areas of concern.
5. Learn various tips for appropriate and inappropriate goal-setting and develop objectives, actions and monitoring tasks for your property.

Activity Sheets 3.4 – My Place On A Stream
1. An Introduction to Riparian Proper Functioning Condition Information Sheet
2. Tips for Maintaining Watershed Functions and Avoiding Higher Peak Flows Information Sheet
3. Tips for Managing Livestock Near Streams Information Sheet
4. Tips for Living In or Near a Floodplain Information Sheet
5. Tips for Building or Fixing Roads or Bridges Information Sheet
6. Tips for Controlling Pollution Information Sheet
7. Tips for Enjoying Your Stream or Riparian Area Information Sheet
8. How’s My Stream? Assessment Checklist Activity Sheet
9. Stream Home Inventory and Action/No Action Plan Information Sheet
10. How to Tell If a Creek Is Healthy Information Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Managing Streamside Areas with Buffers, Washington County Soil and Water Conservation
District
Riparian Restoration, Snohomish Conservation District
What are Riparian Areas?, Washington State Department of Ecology
Streamside Planting Guide for Western Washington, Cowlitz Conservation District

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Module 4: Living With Wildfire


4.1 – Understanding and Reducing the Threat
Learn the life cycle of forage plants, how to identify common plants, and how to estimate how many animals your pastures will support.

4.2 – When Wildfire Occurs
Learn the life cycle of forage plants, how to identify common plants, and how to estimate how many animals your pastures will support.

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Module 5: Love Your Grass As Much As Your Animals


5.1 – How Grass Grows
Learn the life cycle of forage plants, how to identify common plants, and how to estimate how many animals your pastures will support.

Lesson Description
For the most part, small-acreage landowners often do not understand the basics of growing grass and legumes. They understand that they need to fertilize and water their lawns, as well as mow them when the grass gets too tall. However, in many cases, they do not give their pastures this same care. The first step is to understand how pasture plants grow. The next step is to identify the specific pasture plant species growing on their properties.
Many small-acreage owners also feel that their animals need to be out in the pasture 24 hours a day so that they can “get some exercise,” when in reality most animals do not exercise alone, nor do they need access to food 24 hours a day. Participants must understand that pasture plants need time to grow before grazing and they need rest before regrazing. If properly managed, the amount of bare ground and weeds in the pasture will decrease.

Lesson Objectives
1. Gain an understanding of the life cycle of forage plants from dormancy through spring and summer growing periods.
2. Be able to identify the vegetative and/or flowering parts of 10 to 14 common forage plants in their areas.
3. Learn how to estimate and calculate forage yield for their pastures.
4. Learn how to manage vegetation without grazing.

Activity Sheets 5.1 – How Grass Grows
1. Grass Identification Sheets (PowerPoint note pages)
2. Grass Plant Parts Information Sheet
3. Forage Plant Characteristics Information Sheet
4. Identification of Plants Activity Sheet
5. Determining Forage Yield Activity Sheet
6. Forage Availability Estimates Information Sheet
7. Potential Pasture Production is High Information Sheet
8. Potential Pasture Production is Moderate Information Sheet
9. Potential Pasture Production is Low Information Sheet
10. Stubble Height and Regrowth Recommendations Information Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Essentials of Forage Management, United States Department of Agriculture
Pasture Management: Understanding Plant and Root Growth in the Fall, OSU Extension and WSU
Extension
Early Spring Forage Production for Western Oregon Pastures, OSU Extension

5.2 – Managing Grazing for Sustainable Pastures
Learn about the benefits of grazing management through an understanding of how grass grows, as well as the basics of grazing systems and pasture configurations and how to monitor those systems.

Lesson Description
This lesson focuses on grazing management. Effective grazing management increases forage
production and grazing capacity, saves money, reduces erosion, and improves water quality. It will become increasingly important to demonstrate good grazing management practices for water quality protection in the future, as the government scrutinizes nonpoint sources of pollution.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the benefits of grazing management.
2. Review how grass grows and the steps to effective grazing management.
3. Estimate available forage using a pasture stick or the Animal Days per Acre or Animal Units per Month methods.
4. Learn to monitor behind, ahead, and where of livestock.
5. Understand the basics of several grazing systems and pasture configurations.
6. Apply grazing tips to your land.

Activity Sheets 5.2 – Managing Grazing for Sustainable Pastures
1. Determining Carrying Capacity Activity Sheet
2. Stocking Rate Exercise Activity Sheet
3. Feed and Forage Balance Activity Sheet
4. Stubble Height and Regrowth Recommendations Information Sheet
5. Guidelines for Exercise Runs and Paddocks Information Sheet
6. Grazing Planning and Monitoring Activity Sheet
7. Grazing Dates Activity Sheet
8. ABC’s of Rotational Grazing, King County Conservation District

Supplemental Resources
How Green Is Your Grass? Five Steps to Better Pasture and Grazing Management, WSU Clark County Extension
Managing Pastures, Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District
Four Steps to Rotational Grazing, Penn State Cooperative Extension
Rotational Grazing, The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA)
Footprints: Deciding When to Make Your Move, University of California Cooperative Extension
Paddock Design, Fencing, and Water Systems for Controlled Grazing, ATTRA

5.3 – What to Do About Weeds
Learn about state laws regarding noxious weeds and techniques to prevent weed invasions and spread. Poisonous plant and common weed control methods. Inventory your property to locate and control weeds.

Lesson Description
Weeds affect us all, from homeowners to farmers to recreationists. Weeds steal moisture and nutrients from new seedlings, shade out older plants, decrease the nutritional value of forage, and may even kill or injure livestock or people. They can also cause problems in lawns and household landscaping, along roads, and in parks. Weed infestations can decrease forage yields and lower the value of pastures.
Weed problems often result from poor land management practices. Practices such as overgrazing, creating bare ground, and over-watering or under-watering all contribute to weed invasion. This lesson provides information useful to all land managers on identifying, preventing and managing weeds.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand Washington state weed law and landowner responsibilities.
2. Be able to inventory your property, identify your weed species (with help if needed), and determine the extent of your weed problems.
3. Learn techniques to prevent (further) weed invasion and spread.
4. Learn the common methods of weed control and how to decide which method to use.
5. Design, implement and monitor a management plan on your land that includes the use of
integrated weed management techniques.

Activity Sheets 5.3 – What to Do About Weeds
1. Losses and Damages Caused by Weeds Information Sheet
2. Preventing the Spread of Weeds Information Sheet
3. Ten Steps to Effective Weed Control Information Sheet
4. Weed Management Plan Checklist Activity Sheet
5. Herbicide Safety Tips Information Sheet
6. Reading Herbicide Labels Activity Sheet
7. Weed Management Plan Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Clark County Weeds Poisonous to Livestock & Horses, Clark County Vegetation Management
2015 Washington Noxious Weed List
Noxious Weeds That Harm Washington State: Western WA Field Guide, Washington NWCB
Noxious Weed Identification, WSU Extension King County
Controlling Noxious Weeds On the Farm, WSU Extension King County
Managing Weeds In Pasture, Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District
Weed Seedling Identification Guide, Montana Extension

5.4 – Pasture Establishment and Renovation
Learn techniques for pasture renovation and establishment along with the pros and cons of the different practices.

Lesson Description
Pastures can serve as a great renewable resource if managed properly. Inefficiently managed pastures can strip the land, increase erosion, and add to ground and surface water contamination. It is not unusual to see pastures that are overstocked and overgrazed in our area. Good management practices will help maximize the productivity of your pastures and minimize any adverse environmental impacts.
Pasture establishment and renovation may be one option to increase productivity and reduce erosion. An added benefit is that healthy pastures are much more aesthetically pleasing. The purpose of this lesson is for pasture owners to understand why establishment and renovation are important in improving their pastures both for animal nutritive value as well as cost efficiency. The techniques used and influencing factors will be discussed. Selection of the forage type(s) is critical in developing a good and productive pasture. Characteristics of forages and their uses will be presented.

Lesson Objectives
1. Learn to identify their pasture needs in reference to pasture establishment and/or renovation.
2. Learn different techniques for pasture establishment.
3. Discuss the costs associated with different methods of pasture establishment.
4. Examine factors that should be considered prior to renovation.
5. Learn about some individual forage plants, their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.

Activity Sheets 5.4 – Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation
1. Pure Live Seed Calculations Activity Sheet
2. Sample Seed Tags for Pure Live Seed Calculations Information Sheet
3. Cost of Establishment and Renovation Activity Sheet
4. Forage Species Adaptation Information Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Pasture and Hayland Renovation for Western Washington and Oregon, WSU Extension
Endophyte Toxins in Grass Seed Fields and Straw, OSU Extension
Fertilizer Guide – Pastures: Western Oregon and Western Washington, OSU Extension

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Module 6: Don’ t Forget The Animals!


6.1 – So, You Want To Be an Animal Owner
Explore the legal constraints, including zoning and permitting, to animal ownership. Articulate your ownership goals and learn the basics of animal needs. Estimate the number of animals your property can support, and the financial and labor costs for acquiring and maintaining animals.

6.2 – Caring For Your Animals
Learn basic animal husbandry, including ruminant and nonruminant digestive systems, knowing animal nutritional needs, and the basics of preventative health care for animals.

6.2 – Managing Animals to Avoid Negative Impacts
Minimize animal impacts to your land, especially through the proper management of manure. You will also learn how to encourage wildlife while understanding predator control.

Lesson Description
Caring for animals humanely requires a great deal of specialized knowledge about animals’ needs. These needs include adequate food, water, and healthcare. Basic knowledge will help the animal owner establish a more efficient management system that will cut down on time and costs spent caring for them. These aspects of animal care are often in the forefront of owners minds. However, other aspects of animal care also need to be addressed, including manure management and mud reduction. Considering methods to control and manage both provide a more healthful environment for your animals, thus reducing costs of feed and healthcare.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the impacts animals can make on your property and how to avoid these impacts.
2. Learn about methods to reduce and control mud.
3. Develop a manure management strategy.
4. Gain valuable knowledge about composting manure.
5. Evaluate how well their properties meet animal needs.

Activity Sheets 6.2 – Managing Animals to Avoid Negative Impacts
1. Livestock Manure Production Tables Information Sheet
2. Manure and Nutrient Quantity Calculation Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Managing Manure: Strategies for Collection, Storage & Disposal – WSU Clark County Extension
Alternative Bedding – Snohomish Conservation District
Manure Storage and Compost Facilities – Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District
Fertilizing with Manure – WSU Extension
Reducing Mud and Keeping Water Clean: Sacrifice Areas – WSU Clark County Extension
Keeping Clean Water Clean and Reducing Mud: Improving Drainage – WSU Clark County Extension
Reusing Rain in the Pacific Northwest: Rain Gardens – WSU Clark County Extension
Storing Rain in the Pacific Northwest: Rain Barrels – WSU Clark County Extension
Managing Small Acreage Horse Farms – OSU Extension
Fencing Materials for Livestock Systems – Virginia Extension

6.3 – Living with Wildlife
Learn about the benefits of grazing management through an understanding of how grass grows, as well as the basics of grazing systems and pasture configurations and how to monitor those systems.

Lesson Description
Domestic livestock have profound impacts on wildlife. In many cases, adding livestock to the landscape reduces habitat where wild animals can thrive and reproduce. In other cases, feed provided for livestock is eaten by wildlife, elevating the numbers of these animals past a natural level that can be sustained without human help. The most serious impact is the potential for transmission of diseases that can be passed back and forth between livestock and wild animals. Some diseases may also affect humans. It is difficult to control disease in wildlife populations. All these factors result in consequences for landowners, pets, livestock and wildlife. Managing wildlife is a multifaceted process. First and foremost, landowners must determine the species of wildlife that inhabit their surrounding areas. Are wildlife permanent residents, or are they seasonal or migratory? Then, landowners must decide if they want to encourage a specific wildlife species or discourage it. Learning what wildlife is on your property and deciding which species you
want to encourage or discourage can help you achieve your goals.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand how to minimize negative impacts to and from wildlife.
2. Understand methods to discourage wildlife.
3. Understand the aspects of predator control.
4. Understand methods to encourage wildlife and the risks of doing so.
5. Establish goals for managing wildlife on your property.

Activity Sheets 6.3 – Managing Wildlife
a. Using the Setting Wildlife Goals Activity Sheet:
i. Determine the local wildlife population on or around your property.
ii. Determine wildlife goals for your property:
1. Complete exclusion.
2. Open access.
3. Combination.
b. Determine available wildlife habitat on your property.
c. Come up with a plan to modify your property and facilities appropriately to achieve your wildlife goals. This plan should include:
i. Existing areas and facilities used by your animals.
ii. Manure storage areas and schedules.
iii. Fencing, feeding areas and facilities, new or redesigned, to minimize negative animal impacts, discourage/encourage wildlife and limit or eliminate predation.
iv. Landscaping or features to attract desirable wildlife.

Supplemental Resources
Enhancing Wildlife Habitat, Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District
Living with Nuisance Wildlife, OSU Extension
Selecting Plants for Pollinators: Pacific Lowland, Mixed Forest Province, Pollinator Partnership

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Module 7: Business Opportunities


7.1 – Starting a Small Farm Enterprise
Explore the legal constraints, including zoning and permitting, to animal ownership. Articulate your ownership goals and learn the basics of animal needs. Estimate the number of animals your property can support, and the financial and labor costs for acquiring and maintaining animals.

Lesson Description
Many small-acreage owners toy with the idea of making a buck off their properties. Some want their enterprises to supply a bit of extra income, while others want their enterprises to provide adequate income to support the family. In all cases, it is important for the small-acreage owner to realize that transforming a home into a successful small business venture requires a complete reexamination of the goals previously set for the property. This includes evaluating their natural resources, personal resources, family resources, and personal strengths and weaknesses.
Many small businesses find that their rate of return is higher and their profit margin is greater when they use a direct-marketing method. This lesson introduces a number of direct-marketing methods, including benefits and barriers for each method.
It also stresses the importance of planning in any business venture. Most businesses develop a complete business plan to guide their enterprise, seeking help from the appropriate professionals. Business plan development can be lengthy and complex, and it is not the intent of this lesson to teach participants how to fully develop a business plan. Instead, participants will learn that developing a business plan can be helpful during the planning process for their small enterprise.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand that creating small business enterprises on their properties will require a
reexamination of their properties’ resources, their goals, their families’ goals, and their personal strengths and weaknesses.
2. Be able to describe several direct-marketing methods, including the pros and cons of each method.
3. Gain a basic knowledge of business plans.
4. Understand the keys to success for a small enterprise.
5. Know how to access the resources available to a small business enterprise.

Activity Sheets 7.1 – Marketing and Economics for Small Acreage Properties
1. Personal Evaluation Activity Sheet – fill out including family members
2. Testing Possibilities Activity Sheet – will help you narrow possible enterprises for your property
3. Proposed Enterprise Development Activity Sheet – three (or more) proposed enterprises

Supplemental Resources
Evaluating a Rural Enterprise – ATTRA
Overview of Small Farm Direct Marketing – University of Florida Extension
What Can I Do with My Small Farm? – Oregon State University Extension

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Module 8: Focusing on Stewardship


8.1 – Tying it Together
Explore the legal constraints, including zoning and permitting, to animal ownership. Articulate your ownership goals and learn the basics of animal needs. Estimate the number of animals your property can support, and the financial and labor costs for acquiring and maintaining animals.

Lesson Description
Throughout this course, you have been learning about land stewardship. You have examined
the different system components on your property (or future property), starting with setting goals and examining limitations, and then examining soil, water, plants, animals and potential business opportunities. In this module, you will apply a whole-farm approach to incorporate all of the lessons you have learned throughout the Living on the Land course. We will review and expand your understanding of what it means to be a steward of the land and gain a better understanding of farm sustainability. You will also be introduced to some additional concepts of sustainability, including renewable energy and the social context of sustainability.

Lesson Objectives
1. Understand the relationships among the various components of land stewardship you have
learned during the course.
2. Learn how a whole-farm systems approach to property management will promote
sustainability.
3. Identify goals and action steps to increase the sustainability of your property.
4. Increase your awareness of additional sustainability issues, such as renewable energy.
5. Understand the need for monitoring by completing an assessment of your sustainable
management practices.

Activity Sheets 8.1 – Focusing on Stewardship for Long-term Sustainability
1. Habits of a Systems Thinker Information Sheet
2. Putting Sustainable Goals Into Action Activity Sheet
3. Drought and Flood Activity Sheet
4. Sustainable Farm Management Assessment Activity Sheet

Supplemental Resources
Sustainable Agriculture: An Introduction, ATTRA
Moving Towards Sustainable Farming Practices, WSU King County Extension
Water Quality Self Assessment Guide for Small Acreages, WSU Clark County Extension

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Outputs And Impacts

Short term –

  • Facilitate and teach classes and workshops to non-agricultural landowners about the necessity of proper resource management.
  • Increase the skill level of non-agricultural landowners in assessing their resources, identifying problem areas and realizing possible solutions.

Medium term –

  • Increase the number of non- agricultural landowners who are adopting Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as soil testing, water management, proper grass management, proper stocking rates, etc.

Long term –

  • More small acreage landowners are properly managing their water, soil, and plant resources resulting in better water quality, healthier pastures, less weed populations and healthier animals.

Objectives

Participants in the Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages program will:

  1. Understand the difference between renewable and nonrenewable soil, water, plant, and animal resources.
  2. Raise skill levels in five basic core competency areas: land use planning and inventorying resources, soil sustainability, water sustainability, plant sustainability and management, and animal sustainability and management.
  3. Increase understanding and technical expertise related to managing their small acreage resource.
  4. Identify key sustainable practices (Best Management Practices, BMPs) to implement on their acreages and in their community.

Partnerships

WSU Clark County Extension
Clark County Clean Water Program

Staff

Douglas M. Stienbarger, Director
WSU Clark County Extension
stiendm@wsu.edu

Eric Lambert, Program Coordinator
WSU Clark County Extension
eric.lambert@clark.wa.gov
(360) 397-6060 ext. 5729
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Small Acreage Program Topics
Clark County, 1919 NE 78th St, Vancouver, WA 98665, 360-397-6060, Contact Us
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