The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), (now known as the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle), joined other western states to help increase the awareness of composting in agriculture. The completed project, coordinated by the University of Idaho and funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, had a goal of increasing the knowledge, effectiveness, and comfort level of agricultural professionals in dealing with agricultural composting issues.

A major component of the Compost Education and Resources for Western Agriculture (CERWA) project was the production of workshops. CERWA produced the first two workshops, which aired via satellite at eight California locations, in November 1998 and January 1999. The third and final workshop became available on videotape in March 2000.

CERWA provided a total of $600 in funding for local workshops and tours in each of the participating states and provinces. CalRecycle cosponsored a workshop in the Salinas Valley on August 21, 1999, titled "Building Organic Matter in Salinas Valley Soils. Workshop participants visited a local composting facility and several farms and vineyards that use compost.

Goal

  • The goal of the project was to increase the knowledge, effectiveness, and comfort level of agricultural professionals in dealing with agricultural composting issues.

Objectives

  • Impart a "beyond the basics" understanding of composting and compost use.
  • Provide information and resources for participants to share with clients and colleagues.
  • Create tools for agricultural professionals to access current information about composting and the performance of compost in agriculture.

Partnership Participants

  • Project Coordinator: University of Idaho.
  • Key Partners: Agencies and/or universities from the states of Idaho, Oregon, California, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, and the provinces of western Canada.