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Raising Livestock: Feed Your Neighbors and Your Bottom Line

EVERETT, Wash. – One of the fastest growing segments of the local food movement is naturally raised meats and poultry. Put your acreage to work by learning what it takes to sustainably and profitably raise swine, poultry, and beef, thanks to an upcoming series of workshops from Washington State University Snohomish County Extension.

Teachers will include WSU Livestock Advisors and experienced local producers. Each session will provide students with sound, practical advice on all aspects of livestock production from field to table.

The sessions will take place on consecutive Wednesday evenings from Feb. 18 through March 25. All classes will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the University Center at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave. in Everett. They will cover the following topics:

  • Feb. 18: Raising Market Hogs for Profit with instructor Dave Ridle. Explore a 1960’s model “feeder to finish” operation and discuss alternative swine production methods. Pastured pigs, hoop structures, and deep bedding systems will be discussed.
  • Feb. 25: Market Hogs: Production Methods & Nutrition with instructor Dave Ridle. This class will continue the survey of swine production methods and discuss how swine nutritional needs can be met regardless of management method. Multiple handouts provided.
  • March 4: Raising Pastured Poultry with instructor Laura Faley. Learn new and innovative ways to raise poultry through the use of chicken tractors, moveable pens, and day pens while reducing costs of production.
  • March 11: Processing Poultry with instructor Laura Faley. Learn how to process your own poultry to maximize the quality of this value-added product for table or sale. Discover how to gauge how tough your birds are and how to keep processing them a manageable task.
  • March 18: Beef: Start to Finish, Part 1, with instructors Gerry Labish and Bobbi Lindemulder. Explore various models for raising beef including totally grass fed versus grain finished. Learn about the economic impacts of both starting with weaned calves and finishing them out versus buying 600 pound cattle in the spring and selling them in the fall.
  • March 25: Beef: Start to Finish, with instructors Gerry Labish and Bobbi Lindemulder. This class will discuss putting your plan to work. Housing, vaccinations, health needs, handling requirements, land and fencing, best management practices and how it all works together to return the highest profit dollar to your bottom line will be discussed.

Each session is limited to 24 students and pre-registration is required. The cost for one workshop is $25 per person, or $20 per person per workshop for two or more different sessions.

To register contact Karie Christensen at (425) 338-2400, or by email at You also can download the registration form at and mail with your check.

For more information on the courses, contact Drew Corbin at, (425) 357-6012.


Media Contacts

Drew Corbin, WSU Extension Agriculture Educator, 425-357-6012