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Home > Licensing, Inspections, Certifications & Testing > Licensing > Commercial Animal Waste Technician Licensing

Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) Licensing

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

Determine License Type - Revised in 2014

MDA issues three types of CAWT licenses

  • CAWT Company license- effective January 1, 2014
  • CAWT Site Manager license - effective January 1, 2014
  • CAWT Applicator license- effective January 1, 2015

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.

CAWT Applicator

A CAWT Applicator must be licensed by MDA and operate under the supervision of a licensed CAWT Site Manager.

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 license

CAWT Company:

CAWT Site Manager:

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 (coming January 2015)
  • Pay appropriate $25 application fee 
  • Complete 2 hours of designated online training (link coming 2015)
  • Recertify with 2 hours of designated online training annually
  • Renew and pay license fee annually

Training and Recertification Materials

A Commercial Animal Waste Technician Site Manager Training Manual is available as a PDF to print here and at the UME website. (New 2015 Manual coming soon, for current version contact MDA)

Site Manager

Certification Exam

Site Managers must pass the certification exam (80% or better) for a license to be awarded. Each test contains 100 multiple-choice questions pulled directly from the study manual. The test is monitored.


To schedule testing in your area, see CAWT Testing Locations in Greater Minnesota.

To schedule testing at the MDA St. Paul office, call 651-201-6633 or email Pesticide.Licensing@state.mn.us.


Recertification Workshops

To be eligible to renew you must meet recertification requirements by attending a recertification workshop once every other year or re-test. To find an offering of current workshops see
MDA Approved Workshops or UME events Manure Management and Air Quality Program


Designated Online Training

Applicators must complete 2 hours of online training before they can apply or renew a license. The training is found here on the UME website. (Training link coming soon)

Contact Us

For application forms or information please email pesticide.licensing@mda.state.mn.us or contact 651-201-6615.

Fact Sheets

External Resources