New Manure Link Website Connects Local Farming Operations

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture partnered with Rutgers University and the New Jersey Compost Council (NJCC) to create a State Manure Link website to connect livestock farms and composters with farmers, which intends to launch in March 2024.

The main attribute of the website is connecting farmers to manure generators who seek these resources rather than the alternative option of purchasing fertilizer. The website hopes to be “where to find what feeds your field” for New Jersey farmers.

“We believe this website will be a valuable resource for farmers and composters,” New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Joe Atchison said. “The ability to provide a clearer pathway to make connections between these operations will benefit all involved.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the New Jersey Manure Link website goals include:

  • Recycling valuable nutrients
  • Generating accessibility to organic materials
  • Reducing animal waste excess
  • Protecting waterways adjacent to livestock farmland

Rutgers University Office of Research Analytics designed and hosts the Manure Link website. A few features of the website include a list of manure and compost availability in New Jersey by geographic location, the ability for farmers seeking manure and compost to sign up to get notifications when the resources they seek become available within their designated radius, and the opportunity for smaller farms with limited land capacity the chance to distribute their manure to composters and farmers who can use it to benefit their operations. 

The NJCC will hold two hands-on composting field days to provide outreach and educational components and include resources for the website. These field days will demonstrate the importance of composting, nutrient management, and effectively incorporating organic materials into farming practices. These events will be conveniently held and scheduled for livestock farmers and composters. 

In an interview conducted by Yale University with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rick Haney states that using fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals is “killing our soils and threatening our farms.” According to, too much fertilizer kills plants and causes runoff into streams and lakes, which leads to toxic and harmful algae blooms that threaten aquatic life and humans. 

Thus, according to, compost, which New Jersey’s Manure Link website, is trying to encourage the use of, improves soil properties, provides nutrients in an organic form, increases plant growth and health, and conserves water. Although fertilizer is too used to increase fertility as compost does, fertilizer contains artificial chemicals, unlike compost, that are harmful. 

Through this project, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Compost Council aim to give urban farmers access to raw feedstock and finished crop compost. 

The New Jersey Manure Link website funding came from the Conservation Innovation Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Follow South Jersey provides local journalism which highlights our diverse communities; fosters transparency through robust, localized, and vital reporting that holds leaders and institutions accountable; addresses critical information needs; supports people in navigating civic life; and equips people with the information necessary to partake in effective community engagement. If there is a story or event you think we should cover, please send your tips to with “NEWS” in the subject line.