Compost Production

Quivira supports composting at all scales!

At Quivira, we’re excited about compost production, and use of compost as a biological amendment for land restoration.

In rural communities, organic materials account for up to 60 percent of total waste produced (1) in the forms of manure from livestock operations, woody waste from brush removal or forest thinning, animal bedding, crop residues, yard wastes such as leaves and grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. Composting transforms all of these from nutrient and landfill problems into solutions that protect waterways, improve soil productivity through safe application to pastures and farm fields, and possibly provides an avenue of income generation. 

Compost and other organic amendments have been shown to be useful tools of active soil restoration, but more research is needed to understand when and where these amendments have the largest benefits for land restoration. We will thus continue on-ranch trials of compost amounts, season of application, sources, and deployment methods. We will also investigate the use of compost with erosion control structures to rapidly heal headcuts. Broadly, our research will focus on the benefits of compost in addressing and building resilience to drought and will support local and regional compost production for use in rural landscapes. We will also compile and share economic case studies of compost production and use to reduce hesitation for landowners considering a new management direction.

We are have been partners on a grant with Reunity Resources and Edgewood Soil Water Conservation District to build capacity for composting in Rural New Mexico, and we are beginning a new collaborative grant focused on Taos County in 2022! Videos of a field trip to Reunity Resources introducing compost, worm composting, and aerated static pile composting can be found here and of course the workbook is available to download for free on our Technical Guides page.  We have compiled a Total Cost Analysis snapshot of Polks Folly Farm food waste, swine production, and composting operation that can be found here. Supplies such as thermometers, straw bales, buckets, are available to lend or provide – please reach out! Funded by the Rural Utilities Program of USDA and the Stranahan Foundation.

Attend a compost workshop

Learn how to compost from the small- to medium- scale to transform waste into a valuable soil amendment! Instead of food and agricultural waste going to the dump, learn two methods (Static Aerated Pile Composting and Worm composting) to make compost to use in your farm or garden. You will receive a copy of our new composting workbook to take home!

Additionally, for registered participants (priority given to Taos Soil and Water Conservation District community members) there will be some supplies available to help you start your own worm composting system including hay bales, worms, and a bucket (so bring a truck or a large vehicle if you want the hay bales).

Become a state-certified compost facility operator!


The Quivira Coalition is offering four scholarships to individuals who want to work in a New Mexico compost facility or begin their own composting operation at their ranch or farm.

  • Courses are offered through the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the New Mexico Recycling Coalition (NMRC).
  • Begin with 8 hours of  online, prerecorded modules you can watch at your own pace.
  • Once in-person classes become available, the course material is covered over three full classroom days. There is a test at the end of the training, which certifies you as a compost facility operator.



Courses are taught by experts in the field and cover include the following topics:

Benefits of Composting | Composting Process | Raw Materials/Mix Design | Compost Production Method | Compost Operations & Facility Management | Site & Environmental Controls/Regulations | Utilizing Compost/Specifications | Compost Analytical Demonstration/Guest Speakers | Compost Quality Measurements/Salts | Compost Use by NMDOT | Mortality Composting | Compost Field Exercise /Tour | Compost Economics & Marketing | Compost and Plant Disease Suppression | Other Options for Organics Management

If you are already certified and wish to obtain CEUs required to maintain your certification, scholarships may also be applied to attendance at the NM Recycling and Solid Waste Conference in 2022.

Applications will be prioritized based on need for support, participation from Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers, and fit with the program’s goals.


Apply Here:

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