steaming pile of compost


On-Farm & Small-Scale Commercial Compost Production Course

  • Tuesday, February 21, 2023, 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Thursday, February 23, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 2, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Intended audience: folks interested in starting up a composting facility or getting into on-farm composting, on-farm compost producers and commercial compost producers

This course offers four comprehensive sessions on several topics related to producing compost on your farm or a separate, dedicated site. The first session on Facility Design, Regulations, & Producer Case Studies will be offered both in-person and virtually via Zoom. The other three sessions will be virtual only. Sessions will be offered twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting February 21 st and ending March 2nd.

All classes will be recorded and shared with registrants.


Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023

In-person/virtual meeting: Facility Design, Regulations, & Producer Case Studies

Time: 8 AM to 10:30 AM

Location: CCE Education Center, 2 nd Floor Conference Room

7:30 AM Sign-in, Light refreshments offered

8 AM to 8:10 AM Welcome Remarks
Mina Vescera, Nursery/Landscape Specialist, CCE-Suffolk
Rob Carpenter, Director, Long Island Farm Bureau

Rob will briefly discuss Climate Leadership and Community Preservation Act. It includes soil health practices as a way of climate resiliency.

8:10 – 8:50 Presentation 1: Facility Siting/Design
Liz Camps, District Conservationist, NRCS

Liz will review the NRCS compost facility practice standard, facility BMPs, and funding opportunities for producers.

8:50 – 9:20 Presentation 2: State Regulations for On-farm and Small-scale Compost Production
James Wade , Environmental Engineer , NYS DEC

James will discuss compliance and exemptions pertaining to 6 NYCRR Part 360 Series regulations on solid waste management facilities and organic waste management.

9:20 – 9:30 Break

9:30 – 10:10 Presentation 3: Producer Perspectives, Lessons Learned.

Local Producers share their experience starting their compost operation.

10:10 – 10:30 Q&A Presenter Panel and Discussion

10:30 – End of Workshop

Date: Thursday, February 23 rd

Webinar 2: Biology of Composting & Feedstocks

Time: 10 AM – Noon

Presentation 1: Composting Basics
Mark King, Environmental Specialist, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Sustainability Unit

Mark will discuss the types of composting systems (static, windrow, bin system) and primary sources of feedstocks and quality control.

Presentation 2: Decomposition Science and Ecology
Xinwei Mao, Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University

Xinwei will review the process of organic matter transformation from identifiable feedstock to decomposed organic matter and the role of biological and chemical processes.

Date: Tuesday, February 28 th

Webinar 3: Troubleshooting & Contamination Concerns

Time: 10 AM – Noon

Jean Bonhotal, Senior Extension Associate, Cornell University

Jean will address the multitude of concerns in compost production including fire safety, odor and air quality, disease control, and other contamination concerns.

Date: Thursday, March 2nd

Webinar 4: Monitoring, Testing & Interpretation

Time: 10 AM – Noon

Presentation 1: Compost Analyses and Interpretation
Debbie Aller, Extension Associate, Cornell University

Debbie will present on laboratory compost analyses to consider when monitoring production and maturity of compost. She’ll offer interpretation guidance on compost test results including C:N ratio, moisture levels, organic matter, and electrical conductivity. She will also discuss methods and additional tests available.

Presentation 2: Practical On-site Tests
Rick Carr, Farm Director, Rodale Institute

You made a compost pile, now what? How can you assess progress, when is it finished, and how much to use? Rick Carr will share several at-home tools and tests that can be utilized by any composter to monitor the progress and completion of their compost pile.

Presentation 3: Producer Perspective: SOS For Your Soil
Shamma Murphy,SOS For Your Soil, St. James, NY, Compost Producer

Marketing and Educator of SOS For Your Soil, Shamma will discuss her experiences with production management.


This program is free thanks to a grant from the Education Foundation for Suffolk County Extension.


Mina Vescera
Nursery and Landscape Specialist


This event is online


Extension Education Center
423 Griffing Avenue
Second Floor Meeting Room
Riverhead, NY 11901

Last updated January 24, 2023