Section

  • Welcome

    On-Farm Composting

    This course is for farmers across the country.  By completing this course and exam, you can earn a composting certificate.

    Why might you want to complete this course?

    • you may be missing out on a business opportunity
    • you can avoid long-run problems by implementing Best Management Practices now



    This course comes to you from the Animal Science Program at Rutgers Cooperative Extension with help from the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education.  You can go anywhere in this course any time you want by using the Toggles below on this page.

    • Marketing Your Manure -- Know who's buying what and why in the compost market.
    • Recipe for Quality Compost -- If you don't understand the science of composting, you just have a stinking pile of dung.
    • Tasty Compost? -- At the end of process, is your compost up to snuff? Read and understand the report the connesseurs consult.
    • Composting Site Selection & Protecting the Environment -- The guidelines will make your operation more efficient and safe.
    • Mortality Composting -- This module features Jean Bonhotal, our friend, colleague, and composting guru from Cornell.
    • Exam -- If you want credit for completing the course, answering these questions will show your mastery of the compost pile.



    Looking to get NJ certified?  Check out our On-Farm Composting course for New Jersey farmers!



    This program is brought to you by: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Department of Animal Science and Office of Continuing Professional Education), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  Copyright 2014.

    Rutgers logo       New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) logo       New Jersey Department of Agriculture logo     Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center logo

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    • Instructions: Clicking on the section name will show / hide the section.

    • 1

      Section 1: Marketing Your Manure
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      If you're thinking about selling your compost, there are many factors you need to first consider.  There are several markets to target, but it's important to find the right one for you.  Think about your goals and how you want your compost to be used.  You should also consider if you plan to target general use or organic use.

      Pile of cow manure in front of a barn



      Click the link below to view the video, reading, and optional "learn more" resources for Section 1.

    • 2

      Section 2: Recipe for Quality Compost
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      Farmers make their living understanding the needs of plants.  Composters understand the needs of microbes doing the work inside the compost pile.  Just like any good chef, they play with the key ingredients of a good compost recipe.  Understanding the key ingredients in a compost recipe will help you to create quality compost and ace the exam at the end of this course.

      Large piles of steaming (hot) compost



      Click the link below to view the video, reading, and optional "learn more" resources for Section 2.

    • 3

      Section 3: Tasty Compost?
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      Be sure to make your compost count,as customers want quality. They want to know how good your stuff is compared to others. Whether they're growing mushrooms, athletic fields or spectacular landscapes, they want the hard numbers on compost quality.

      Bin of compost with pitchfork for turning the pile     Quality compost can generate hard cash for your business



      Click the link below to view the video and optional "learn more" resources for Section 3.

    • 4

      Section 4: Compost Site Selection and Protecting the Environment
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      Using the appropriate sites for your compost is key.  The right site for your pile can help protect our environment.

      Compost piles can be located on cloth and gravel pads, soil pads, and new pads



      Click the link below to view the video, reading, and optional "learn more" resources for Section 4.

    • 5

      Section 5: Mortality Composting
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      Every farmer must realize the animals on their farm won't live forever.  It's a harsh reality for those who grow to love their animals.  However, there are proper ways to dispose of your animal through composting.

      Pigs on a farm     Cows in a field     Chickens laying eggs



      Click the link below to view the video, reading, and optional "learn more" resources for Section 5.

    • 6

      State-By-State Rules for Composters
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      Each state has rules for your compost operation.  Check your state's rules and regulations to be sure you are following proper protocol for your state.

      Department of Agriculture Sign     Farmer reviewing paperwork



      If you would like to learn more, or become a certified composter in New Jersey, click the link for "On-Farm Composting in New Jersey," below, to complete a version of this course that includes information on the rules and regulations specific to New Jersey. You will have to pass an exam in order to become certified.

    • 7

      Composting Glossary
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      Click the link for "Glossary of Key Composting Terms," below, to review composting terms.

      This Glossary is reprinted with permission from On-Farm Composting Handbook (NRAES-54). ©1992 by NRAES (Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service). All rights reserved. For more information, please contact PALS Publishing, (607) 255-7654, or palspublishing@cornell.edu.

    • 8

      Quiz
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    • 9

      Credits
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      Special Thanks & Credits

      A special thank you to all who helped make this online course possible. 

      On-Farm Composting was made possible by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education & the Department of Animal Sciences, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center.

      • Project Coordination: Dr. Michael Westendorf, Jim Morris, Emily Carey PerezdeAlejo, Kelly Weber
      • Instructional Design: Emily Carey PerezdeAlejo, Kelly Weber, Troy DeLorenzo
      • Subject Matter Expertise: Dr. Michael Westendorf, Dr. Uta Krogmann, Jean Bonhotal, Fred Kelly, Monique Purcell, Dr. Stephanie Murphy, Loren Muldowney, with Tiffany Morey
      • Filming / Videography: Bill Hlubik, Dave Smella



      This program is brought to you by: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Department of Animal Science and Office of Continuing Professional Education), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  Copyright 2014.

      Rutgers logo       New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) logo       New Jersey Department of Agriculture logo     Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center logo