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What is a commercial livestock operation?
The Washington State Conservation Commission defines a commercial livestock operation as one that has at least $10,000 in annual livestock/livestock product sales, plus have animals which meet USDA Farm Service Agency’s definition list of animals that are food and fiber.
The Skagit Conservation District provides free technical assistance to local commercial livestock operations 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 sources, 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 source, the physical conditions and environmental factors.
Cost Share Program
The Skagit Conservation District does have cost share funds available to commercial livestock producers 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 John Schuh at the Skagit Conservation District by calling (360) 428-4313 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.