Active programs

Innovative Livestock Waste Management

Purpose: To trial innovative approaches to livestock manure management on-farm.  North Carolina has a phosphorus surplus in our soils and also being generated on-farm in the form of animal waste.  This valuable nutrient of dwindling supply is in demand outside of the state.  The purpose of the projects is to ultimately look at animal waste as a valuable fertilizer and also offer a way for the producer to make additional income through the sale of the animal waste.


  • Phase I: Funding received in 2019 from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office in the form of an $88,000 Environmental Enhancement Grant allowed us to partner with Phinite, Inc. to pilot a sludge drying wetland on a swine farm in southeastern North Carolina.
  • Phase II:  Promoting Innovations in Animal Waste Management Phase II takes the research a step further and will trial the use of low-cost, high efficiency on-farm solar drying structures.  With a funding amount of $520,777 from a 2021 USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG), total project costs exceed $1.1 million.  Read more about the project in our press release and also through a news story by NC State University.  Learn more about the 2021 CIG recipients.  The 2021 USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant received over 70 applicants nationally, with 19 total awardees.

Current Work: 

  • The Phase I design is almost fully installed with an expected completion date of Summer 2022.  A potential tour of the facility may occur in 2022.
  • The Phase II funding was recently awarded to the Foundation, where we will again partner with Phinite, Inc. to install three low-cost, solar drying units.  The dried sludge product will go through a series of incubation and field trials in partnership with NC State University.  Ultimately, the goal of the project is to determine the viability of the product as a fertilizer amendment as well as the marketability of the final product.  This will support the development of a business case that will also make economic sense for the farmer.

Accomplishments: More information to come soon!