Search for Excellence in Environmental Quality, Forestry and Natural Resources

Joshua Dallin
Extension Faculty- Box Elder County
Utah State University
Brigham City

Dallin, J.*1, , Braithwaite, H.*2, , Hadfield, J.A.*3, , Zesiger, C.*4,
1 Extension Faculty- Box Elder County, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322
2 Extension Water Quality Specialist, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322
3 Extension Faculty- Cache County, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84337
4 Extension Faculty- Weber County, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322


Livestock waste management has become a critical environmental concern. Concentrated animal feeding operations containing livestock and poultry can produce almost 13 times more waste than the entire US population. To address issues relating to water quality and sustainability, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created laws and regulations for managing manure. In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture reported that the number of small farms specifically in Utah had grown by 2% over the past 5 years. With this increasing number, it has become more important than ever for producers to understand proper risk management strategies to align with EPA regulations and to avoid contaminating their local tributaries.

The Small Farm Water Quality Improvement Project offers a unique avenue for small farms and agriculture operations to improve the state of their surrounding water quality. To receive funding, small farm producers presented their proposed projects through an application process that showcased a need for water quality improvement, proposed corrective strategy and cost, and expected positive water quality outcomes.

Utah State University and the Utah Division of Water Quality provided $75,000 to small farm producers. Of twenty two applications, seven projects were awarded funding. Many of these small farms reside near, on, or alongside surface water sources, thus increasing the chances of water pollution. Completed projects ranged from fencing off riparian areas to complete restructuring of facilities.