Farm & Agriculture Assistance
One of the core services that WICD is proud to provide is support to agricultural producers and rural acreage landowners. Whether its providing a site visit, creating a farm plan so a small dairy can get it’s Grade A certification, seeking out financial assistance for a horse manure composting structure, or providing resources about cover cropping to a farmer, through our specialty in conservation planning, WICD has a unique niche in the community and is committed to helping the island's rural landowners thrive.
Agricultural assistance can mean many things. In WICD’s farm planning and agricultural assistance process, our staff can provide you with a wide range of resources and expertise, including phone consultation, resource handouts, referrals to other agricultural professionals, site visits to your property, and in some instances, farm plans, and financial assistance. Our planners follow the 9-step conservation planning process, a process created by Hugh Hammond Bennett and which continues to be directed by our conservation partners at the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
You don’t have to be a commercial farming operation to take advantage of our services. We are a free service available to all landowners on the island. WICD’s farm planners work closely with you to identify your land use goals and objectives and provide no-cost, non-regulatory technical assistance to help you achieve those goals. We don’t regulate or report, and your participation is always voluntary. There are many benefits to implementing conservation best management practices (BMPs) on your property, both as a commercial farmer and as a private landowner, including reduced chore time, improved water quality and livestock health, increased crop productivity, and less mud.
Farm & Agriculture Starter Series
Are you fresh to the field of agriculture or ranching? Or are you wishing to get back in touch with some skills or resources you haven't seen for years? Not sure where to start? Look no further than our Starter Series - these three will get you started on learning about our conservation planning services, and our roles and yours in the planning process.
Learn About Farm Planning on Video
Learn about our Farm Planning services from Natural Resource Planner Kelsi Mottet and landowner Jessica Aws.
"The Whidbey Island Conservation District is an extraordinary asset. Working with WICD, we have obtained high quality technical assistance on managing cropland and livestock issues, and worked closely with their staffs to secure funding and technical assistance. We are very grateful for their partnership, and look forward to working with them in the future to help preserve the rural community." -Eli Wheat, Clinton
Farm & Agriculture Resources
Click a Tab Below for More Resources:
Farm planning RESOURCES
Farm Planning Resources
WICD farm planners are available to assist you in implementing conservation planning on your farm or rural property. Take a look at some of our top farm-focused resources below, organized by topic. Not finding what you're looking for? Feel free to give our office a call and ask to speak with one of our farm planners at (888) 678-4922 for tailored resources and assistance.
Working with the Conservation District
Getting Started on Your Farm
Soil Testing & Soil Building
Pasture Management & Grazing Systems
Cover Cropping & Crop Rotation
Mud & Manure Management
Insect Management & Pollinators
Irrigation & Water Management
Weather Data & Planning
Agricultural Resiliency & Agroforestry
Renewable Energy Programs & Resources for Farms
WICD farm planners are available to help assist you in the planning and implementation of conservation measures for your horse farm. Check out our top resources for horse owners below and visit our Horsekeeping webpage. If you aren't seeing what you're looking for, give our office a call and ask to speak with one of our farm planners at (888) 678-4922 for tailored resources and assistance.
Getting Started on Your Property
Soil Testing & Soil Building
Mud & Manure Management
Livestock Health & Wellness
State & FEderal Agricultural Assistance Programs
State & Federal Ag
There are many organizations of both regional, state, and federal designation that supply agricultural services and assistance to farmland owners. Peruse the list below to learn more about each organization and its benefits to you as an agricultural producer and farmland owner.
United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service is a federal agency with field offices located throughout Washington state to assist in voluntary conservation on rural lands. NRCS offers voluntary programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers to provide financial and technical assistance to help manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. Through these programs, the agency approves contracts to provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns or opportunities to help save energy, improve soil, water, plant, air, animal and related resources on agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. Below are a sampling of the financial assistance programs available to rural landowners on Whidbey Island. Click on the link for each program to learn more, or subscribe to receive financial assistance updates directly to your email by visiting here.
Financial Assistance to Rural Landowners
Office Phone: (360) 428-7684
Office Address: 2021 E. College Way, Suite 214, Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
The Washington State Farm Service Agency serves the agricultural community through 25 county USDA service centers and one state office, located in Spokane. The Washington FSA State Committee and locally-elected county committees provide producer input to federal farm programs. FSA helps to ensure a stable food supply for the nation by supporting American farmers. This is accomplished through the implementation of farm programs authorized by Congress. The programs currently carried out in Washington State are categorized under: Conservation, Disaster Assistance, Price Support, Farm Loans, and Energy Programs. To learn more about the FSA's services, visit the Washington State Farm Service Agency website.
USDA's Rural Development Office is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. The office offers loans, grants, and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services, and supports loans to businesses through banks, credit unions, and community-managed lending pools. Additionally, technical assistance is offered through the office to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve operations effectiveness.
To learn more, visit the USDA Washington State Rural Development office website.
The Office of Farmland Preservation (OFP), a program within the Washington State Conservation Commission, works to address the rapid loss of working farm and forest lands in our state. They do this through:
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has been serving the state's agriculture community and the public for more than 100 years. The mission is: Through service, regulation, and advocacy, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) supports the viability and vitality of agriculture while protecting consumers, public health, and the environment. The nature of WSDA's work falls into three categories:
Did you know that Puget Sound Energy (PSE) offers free energy upgrades for your farm and agricultural business? If you are looking to cut your energy bills, you should consider visiting PSE's website to learn about the services available at-no-cost to you at www.pse.com/sbdi.
Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) - The Agricultural Marketing Service is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture and has programs in five commodity areas: cotton and tobacco, dairy, fruit and vegetation, livestock and seed, and poultry. These programs provide testing, standardization, grading and market news services for those commodities, and oversee marketing agreements and orders, administer research and promotion programs, and purchase commodities for federal food programs. Visit the AMS website.
ATTRA National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA is a program developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). NCAT is a private nonprofit organization, founded in 1976, which manages a series of projects that promote self-reliance and sustainable lifestyles through wise use of appropriate technology. Its programs deal with sustainable and renewable energy, energy conservation, resource-efficient housing, sustainable community development, and sustainable agriculture. Check our ATTRA's National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website.
Better Ground -Better Ground is about taking small stewardship actions at home and in our communities to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife, and related natural resources. "Better Ground" is an effort to increase conservation outcomes in the Puget Sound region and to enroll more citizens in conservation efforts. It's a collective initiative of your regional Puget Sound Conservation Districts, a group of 12 trusted agencies who help you find solutions for your backyard, farm, forest, or property within your community - and all for free! Visit the Better Ground website.
Farmers.gov - Farmers.gov provides farmers, ranchers, private foresters, and agricultural producers with online self-service applications, educational materials, engagement opportunities, and business tools to increase efficiency and productivity while preserving and fostering long-held traditional relationships between local USDA offices and producers. Visit the Farmers.gov website.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) -
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities. There are some great resources for farmers on the NSAC Publications page.
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) - Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education is a competitive research and outreach program that advances sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture. SARE is administered through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and is run by four regional councils of producers, researchers, educators, and government representatives that set SARE policy and make grants. Successful SARE grantees are producers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and educators engaged in projects that simultaneously address the three "P's" of sustainability:
Web Soil Survey (WSS) - Web Soil Survey provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. Operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), it provides access to the largest natural resource informatino system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation's counties. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. Visit the Web Soil Survey website.
WorkSource is a statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that provides an array of employment and training services to job seekers and employers in Washington. Customers access services electronically through WorkSourceWA.com or through a network of more than 60 WorkSource centers, affiliates and connection sites. Here in Washington state, WorkSource helps thousands of farmworkers find jobs and connect with important community resources. To learn more, visit the WorkSourceWA Farmerworkers Resources page.
COUNTY TAX INCENTIVE PROGRAMS FOR FARM LANDOWNERS
Washington Dept. of Revenue &