eXtension Center Works to Secure Grants and Spread Manure Research

The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center on eXtension coordinates grant writing and works with researchers to get factual information to the media and the public. It is a go-to place for comprehensive science based information on environmental issues associated with beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and poultry production. You could call it Manure 101.

Five years of free webcasts
The heart and soul of the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) is its free monthly webcast. The average viewing audience is 135 people from the United States as well as other countries. Typically three experts talk on a specific topic.

Shared work means less duplication
From the webcasts, people started coming to the manure resource area on eXtension to find research summaries, frequently asked questions and to pose questions. More than 100 faculty and Extension staff have written information for the animal manure resource area, http://www.extension.org/animal_manure_management. They work at more than 20 land-grant universities as well as the Environmental Protection Agency Ag Center and U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Seeking grants and contracts important effort of the community of practice
The center works to coordinate grant submissions with its university partners. “It is the connection to our audience that has made us a desirable partner in these efforts,” said Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska Extension educator and LPELC coordinator.

Six state Extension services — Cornell University, Texas AgriLife, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska and Washington State University — are currently sharing a grant to research air quality in animal agriculture and then use that research to create educational materials for Extension personnel, technical service providers, commodity groups and the general public.

A project to develop learning lessons for use by high school and junior college ag instructors and extension agents is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Montana State University. The first lesson is on developing an environmental policy statement for a farm or ranch and was published as an eXtension learning lesson. The project was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Jill Heemstra, http://www.extension.org/pages/14286/jill-heemstra, and Thomas Bass, http://www.animalrangeextension.montana.edu/natural/nat_specialist.htm Livestock Environment Extension specialist at Montana State University, and others worked on the project.

The LPELC has sub-awards in additional grants on biofilters, monoslope beef barns and air emissions.

eXtension learning lesson, http://www.extension.org/pages/33198/developing-an-environmental-policy-statement-for-a-farm-or-ranch-belaa-eps

Texas AgriLife Extension news release on six-state grant, http://agrilife.org/today/2011/07/20/climate-change-grant/

Webcasts archived for viewing on demand, http://www.extension.org/pages/54317/archived-webcasts-livestock-and-poultry-environmental-learning-center .