Manure Management Planning Workshops Set For Cumberland County
Grab a sandwich and let’s talk manure! Join us for the first of two Whine, Cheese and Mud: Horse Owners’ Socials, on August 30, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, at Rendezvous Run Farm, 806 Alexander Spring Road in Carlisle.
The workshops are intended to answer questions from horse owners and operators about Pennsylvania’s manure management laws, which apply to all livestock including equine and small farm operations. The events are free to attend, but pre-registration is requested.
If you keep any manure-producing animals, even one horse in your backyard, you are now required to have a manure management plan in Pennsylvania. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a difficult task.
Along with our partners, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will be hosting the first workshop on August 30, illustrating manure “Best Management Practices” or BMPs and documenting such processes in a manure management plan.
“We’ve organized these workshops to be laid back, social and informal,” said Donna Morelli, Pennsylvania Director for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, who is also an equine enthusiast. “It’s an overview of the new law and how you can help protect water quality—but it’s meant to be fun—and informative.”
Rendezvous Run Farm was chosen as a workshop site because the family recently completed the process of developing a plan for their operation. They worked with the Cumberland County Conservation District and the local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service technical specialist on their plan and qualified for various financial incentive programs to help pay for practices installed in their pastures.
Like many small farm operators, the owners work full time off the farm as well as operate a horse boarding and training business.
“We have a small acreage property and little time,” said Lorelei Wilson Coplen. “We want to maximize our use of the land and still make it easy to manage. Working with helpful experts introduced me to the requirements as well as some interesting ideas to improve my operation.”
The second in this casual workshop series will be held on September 13 from 10:30 to 2:00 p.m. at Wilson College’s Equestrian Center in Chambersburg that houses up to 70 horses, one of Pennsylvania’s few equine “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” or CAFOs.
Because the Equestrian Center is such a large operation, it has been regulated as a CAFO for a number of years. While very different than many of the small operations targeted by the new regulations, it is a good place to see BMPs at work.
Both events will illustrate manure BMPs, such as not applying manure to a field within 100 feet of a stream, managing pastures for water quality and equine health-and also how to work through developing a manure management plan. A tour of both farms will be featured, pointing out practices that they are already using.
Manure Plan Workshops
For those equine owners who want to skip the overview and get right down to meeting the regulatory requirement on their farm, the Cumberland County Conservation District is holding a Manure Management Plan writing workshop on September 11 and 19.
The social hours and workshops are being sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with the Capital Area Resource Conservation & Development Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Cumberland & Franklin County Conservation Districts.
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