Small Farm Improvement Rebates

Partnership of Whatcom County Public Works and the Whatcom Conservation District

Clean water is essential for protecting the health of people and animals in Whatcom County.  A watershed is an area of land where all of the water drains to a common point, such as Drayton harbor, Birch Bay, Bellingham Bay, or Chuckanut Bay.  Activities in our watershed affect the water quality of streams, rivers, and bays.

Keeping animals and manure out of waterways is part of the solution to improving water quality in your neighborhood and for the downstream community.


Making Improvements to Your Small Farm Costs Money...
We Can Help!
Improved barnyard management keeps your property less muddy, keeps animals healthier and keeps our ditches, creeks, and rivers clean.  We understand this work takes time and money. The Small Farm Improvements Rebate Program can reimburse you for up to $300 towards the costs of barn gutters, heavy use area footing, or fencing. Funding is limited and rebates will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

What Rebates are Available?

Rebates are available, based upon actual costs, for barn gutters and outlet systems, heavy use area footing material, or fencing. You will need to choose one rebate option per 'farm area'. A 'farm area' is all adjoining parcels under single land ownership with farm animals.Gutters_HUA_Fencing_image

Barn Gutters and Outlet System (up to $300) 
Gutters and downspouts on barns and shelters collect and divert clean rain water away from animal confinement areas. Locate downspout outlet pipes to divert clean water to an appropriate vegetated area outside the animal confinement space.  The idea is to prevent the clean roof water from mixing with manure in the confinement area and contributing to mud build up and polluted runoff.

Heavy Use Area Footing Material (up to $300)
To prevent pastures from becoming compacted and muddy, livestock should be removed for pastures and confined to a holding area, paddock, or corral during wet winter months. Careful consideration should be given to the location of these holding areas and footing materials dependent on location of water, soil types, and types of farm animals.

Fencing (up to $300
Fencing can be set up to help keep animals out of vulnerable areas. This helps prevent bacteria from manure from entering waterways.

Follow these steps to receive your rebate

1.  Complete a Small Farm Workshop or site visit
The Whatcom Conservation District holds small farm workshops covering a variety of topics.  Review the workshop schedule at or contact the Whatcom Conservation District for a site visit at 360.526.2381.

2.  Confirm your Eligibility with a Farm Planner
Talk with a farm planner at the Whatcom Conservation District to confirm eligibility for the rebate program and to discuss qualifying practices. 360.526.2381

3.  Purchase and Install Gutter System, Footing Material, or Fencing
Determine the needed supplies for your project. Purchase the supplies and keep a copy of your receipt to submit with your application. Install your gutter system, footing material, or fencing.  A farm planner can provide guidance, if needed.

4. Take Before and After Photos
Take before and after photos of your installed gutter system, heavy use area footing material, or temporary fencing or have the Whatcom Conservation District visit your site to document the completed work.

5.  Submit your Application
Submit the completed and signed rebate application, photo documentation of completed work, and a copy of paid invoices to Whatcom County Public Works- Natural Resources.
Click here for the small farm improvements rebate application (Also available in Punjabi, Russian, and Spanish)
Attn: Small Farm Rebate Program
322 N. Commercial Street, 2nd Floor
Bellingham, WA 98225
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 360.778.6230
Once your completed application, photo documentation, and invoice have been received by Whatcom County Public Works, you will typically receive a rebate check in the mail with 4-6 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions. If we’ve missed one of your questions, try our FAQs below, give us a call at 360.778.6230 or [email protected] 

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J89801 to the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.