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Title: Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) -Applicator/Site Manager/Company
Alternate Title:

Minnesota law requires companies, site managers, and applicators that manage or apply manure for-hire to obtain Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) license from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Subject: Animal Waste
Creation Date: 9/11/2008 2:11:55 PM
Modification Date: 7/10/2019 8:21:13 AM
Agency Name: Agriculture (MDA), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: The mission of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is to enhance Minnesotans' quality of life by ensuring the integrity of our food supply, the health of our environment, and the strength of our agricultural economy.
Agency Phone: 651-201-6000
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address:
625 N. Robert Street

St. Paul
Division Name: Pesticide Licensing - Pesticide & Fertilizer Management
Division URL:
Division Description:
Division Phone: Division Fax: Division URL:
Audience: Hold Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Minnesota law requires Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) site managers, applicators and companies to obtain a state license. If you apply or manage manure on a for-hire basis, you must be licensed.

CAWT Company A license is required for a company that commercially manages for-hire applications of animal waste. The company must also employ a CAWT Site Manager.
The company license number must be printed on application equipment.

CAWT Site Manager A person employed by a CAWT Company to manage site operations, supervise CAWT Applicators and manage livestock manure. Site managers can be certified in two categories, solid and liquid. An open-book exam is required as part of license application.

CAWT Applicator A CAWT Applicator must be licensed by MDA and operate under the supervision of a licensed CAWT Site Manager. All individuals with the applicator license type must have a minimum of two (2) hours of certification training and pass a short exam.

CAWT License Requirements

A license is required for:

  • A commercial or a for-hire application when money or other compensation is exchanged to manage or apply manure to the ground;
  • A private producer applying their own manure when they have a capacity of 300 animal units or more, and do NOT have an updated manure management plan; or 
  • A commercial or a for hire operation that stockpiles or manages manure.

A licensed person must:

  • Certify for a license by passing an open book exam 
  • Carry a valid CAWT license card
  • Recertify through training or testing 
  • Renew license and pay fee every year
  • CAWT Applicators must work under the supervision of a licensed CAWT Site Manager 
  • CAWT Applicators and Site Managers must work under a licensed CAWT Company 
  • CAWT company must employ at least one Site Manager
  • CAWT Company must display license number on all equipment at least 3" high with high contract colors
  • All CAWT Applicators, Site Managers, and Companies are responsible for proper manure management or application

How to Obtain a CAWT License

CAWT Company:

CAWT Site Manager:

  • Be employed by a licensed CAWT Company
  • Complete and submit the CAWT Site Manager Application form or apply Online
  • Pay appropriate $50 License/Certification Fees
  • Meet requirements for Financial Responsibilities 
  • Take and pass (80% and above) a multiple choice exam
  • Take and pass exam for each category desired liquid and/or solid
  • Recertify at a workshop or re-test every 2 years Renew and pay license fee annually

CAWT Applicator:

  • Be employed by a licensed CAWT Company
  • Always work under the supervision of a CAWT Site Manager (License Lookup)
  • Complete and submit the CAWT Applicators application form online
  • Pay appropriate $25 application fee
  • Complete 2 hours of designated online training
  • Recertify with 2 hours of designated online training annually
  • Renew and pay license fee annually

Refer to the MDA information:

Commercial Animal Waste Technician Application Licensing

Financial Responsibilities  

Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) Testing : Greater Minnesota


CAWT licenses are valid for one (1) year.

To renew your site manager license, you must pay a fee and attend MDA continuing education workshops every other year. Workshops will be posted on the MDA website and on the University of Minnesota Extension, 2019 Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) Recertification Workshops

Each year, applicators must go through a 2 hour online training and pass an exam based on that training.

Statutes: 18C.430


Application for New CAWT Company

Application for New CAWT Site Manager

Renew CAWT Site Manager License

Application forms are available at Commercial Animal Waste Technician Waste Licensing


License application fees:

$100 per year for a CAWT Company License

$50 per year for a CAWT Site Manager License

$25 per year for a CAWT Applicator License

Period of Issuance:

From date of issuance through December 31 of each year.

Length of Determination: Approximately 1-3 weeks.
Other Info:
Activity: Manure
Commercial Animal Waste
Animal Waste
License Detail URL:

Commercial Animal Waste Technician Licensing

Online Licensing System

Online Licensing and Payment Options

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

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