The farmers of Logan County will be getting another option to dispose of their deceased livestock thanks to a grant applied for and awarded to the Logan County Conservation District.
The Districts’ office received $5,000 and will be offering a cost share program available for dead animal composting for livestock producers. Cost share provided is 75 percent up to a maximum of $400 for the cost of purchasing wood shavings or sawdust for the purpose of composting fallen animals. The material can be purchased and stockpiled for the future use of composting as well.
“This is a maiden voyage for the district,” said Craig Givens district conservationist with the USDA NRCS in Logan County. “The District decided rather than do nothing, we would see if this works to help the farmers.”
Givens said the district applied for these funds soon after Griffin Industries stopped free pickup services in the county due to federal guidelines that prohibited the industry from processing anything over 30 months as feed product. Griffin had been providing the service free for years as a favor to the community it resided in.
The district put its cost share plan on the back burner when the county entered into a contract with a Christian County company to pick up the county’s dead animals to be taken to the landfill. When the county’s program failed, losing $15,135 in a six month period, the district decided to revive the cost share program for composting.
“Will this program solve all the problems, probably not,” said Givens adding that he’s sure some farmers will continue to dispose of their downed livestock their own way; however, he believes there are some farmers that will take advantage of this program because they will be able to do it on their own farms.
Givins said composting used to require farmers to apply for a $25 permit from the state, now they don’t have to do that due to a change made by the governor.
Givens said the district will continue to apply for this grant each year, but there are no guarantees they will be awarded the funds. He added this year’s $5,000 should be enough to help a good deal of the county’s farmers begin composting and that the materials should last at least two to three years if not more.
Participants of the cost share program must follow University of Kentucky Publication ID-166, On-Farm Composting of Animal Mortalities, and follow recommended minimum setbacks to public or private use facilities.
If you are interested in this cost share program, please contact the Districts’ office prior to purchasing your composting materials to allow confirmation of available funding since it is a first come-first served basis. For more information or if you have questions, please call Wesley Wright or Givens at the Logan County Conservation Districts’ office at 270-726-1371.