With the growing concern about the impact of agriculture on water quality and heightened interest in managing agricultural by-products economically, the use of composting by U.S. farmers is increasing. Over 8,000 farms are now composting animal mortalities, manure, crop residues, and selected organic materials from communities and industries. At least 75% of farm composting operations are composting poultry mortalities. Based on discussions with contacts in leading agricultural states and organizations, this paper provides examples of technical and economic incentive programs encouraging farmers to adopt composting as a way to manage farm by-products. These programs have been established largely by the public sector, including state agencies, public universities, USDA, and USEPA. However, they are often initiated by or conducted in partnership with the private sector entities such as farms, livestock and poultry product companies, and composting businesses. Examples of incentive programs include research and demonstration projects, extension educational programs, technical standards, regulatory incentives, cost-sharing, financial grants, and low-interest loans. Many projects have succeeded in expanding the practice of composting among farms. For example, the now common practice of composting poultry mortalities can be traced to research and educational programs at the Universities of Maryland and Delaware, which were followed by a national technical standard adopted by the USDA. Similar success stories are apparent in other composting incentive programs, such as for composting of swine mortalities in Missouri, dairy manure in Michigan, and non-farm materials in California and Pennsylvania.