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Reclaiming 'Waste' Webinar Miniseries Recap & Resources

Updated: Mar 4

In case you missed it:

In January and February 2024, Franklin County NRCD hosted two online webinars diving into the use and management of nutrient-rich and abundant resources in our agricultural landscapes — manure and urine.

On January 31st, FCNRCD Projects Coordinator, Dorothy Kinney-Landis, explored “Why Farmers Spread Manure”. Manure, often seen as waste, is an important source of nutrients crucial for soil health and the nutrient cycles that sustain our crops. This webinar covered the basics of what manure is, how manure contributes to a closed loop nutrient cycle, and the rules and regulations surrounding manure application. Farmers in Vermont follow a set of rules regulating the storage and application of manure and all other nutrient amendments called Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) in order to improve water quality throughout the state. Water quality is a major concern in Vermont and farmers often get blamed for phosphorus inputs into our rivers and lakes. Though agriculture does contribute to phosphorus runoff, since 2016, the agricultural sector has been responsible for a whopping 96% of phosphorus reductions in Vermont. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or a curious environmental enthusiast, this webinar provides context and understanding to the significant impact of responsible manure management. 

Visit the link below to watch our recording of this educational webinar. 

On February 7th, we shifted our focus to a rather unconventional but incredibly valuable resource – urine. Partnering with the Rich Earth Institute, Education Director Julia Cavicchi explored the current research and applications of peecycling in Vermont as well as successful peecycling systems abroad. Julia explained how human urine contains vital nutrients for growing crops and can help reduce reliance on synthetic and expensive fertilizers. By reclaiming urine as an agricultural resource, communities can prevent downstream pollution, access an abundance of local fertilizer, and conserve clean water. For over a decade, the Rich Earth Institute has operated the nation's first and largest community-scale peecycling program. Not only can urine reclamation be used on large scale commercial farms, but gardeners everywhere can safely and effectively fertilize crops with urine in their own backyard with just a few pointers and tools provided by Rich Earth Institute. 

Visit the link below to watch a recording of this webinar.

If you live in the Lake Champlain Basin and are interested in introducing peecycling in your own garden, email for a FREE at-home peecycling kit.

Lastly, check out this awesome feature of Rich Earth Institute on CBS Sunday Morning. 

Flyer for the Reclaiming 'Waste' Webinar. The background image is of sheep in a green, lush field. There are two text boxes highlighting each webinar. The "Why Do Farmers Spread Manure?" was held on Wednesday 1/31 from 6-7pm and participants learned what mannure is, manure's role in soil health and nutrient cycles, and rules and regulations for Water Quality. The "Urine Nutrient Reclamation for Clean Waters & Fertile Farms with Rich Earth Institute" was held on Wednesday 2/7 from 6-7 pm and participants learned what peecycling is, how reclaimed urine can be used as a agricultural resource and pollition prevention strategy, and how gardeners can safely and effectively fertilize crops with urine in their own backyard. Franklin County NRCD and Rich Earth Institute logos are featured on the bottom left of the flyer.
Flyer for the Reclaiming 'Waste' Webinars which included presentations on "Why Do Farmers Spread Manure?" and "Urine Nutrient Reclamation for Clean Waters & Fertile Farms with Rich Earth Institute".

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