Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
Connecting on animal manure management issues

March 7, 2008  by Jill Heemstra Rick Koelsch Joe Harrison and Mark Risse

Are continuing education opportunities helping to keep the agricultural industry on top of emerging animal manure issues?
Are continuing education opportunities helping to keep the agricultural industry on top of emerging animal manure issues? The Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center was established to improve the connection between national experts and those advising animal producers on environmental issues.


What services does the learning center provide?
One product is a monthly seminar delivered to each participant’s office with web cast technologies. Visitors can connect to this one hour seminar from their office computer using free software called
Real Player. These seminars occur on the third Friday of each month at 2:30pm Eastern Time. If interested people cannot attend a live seminar, presentations are recorded and available for viewing at your convenience.

The learning center’s web site also provides a connection to the ‘Best of the Best’ national resources on many animal manure topics. A team of about 60 national experts are developing a far more content rich animal manure issues web site for release in early 2008.


What web cast seminars have been held to-date?
The learning center’s customer advisory team helps set the agenda. At its request, initial seminars have addressed the value of manure, alternative manure handling technologies, and nutrient issues from a national perspective. With the emergence of hot news topics, site organizers have also added presentations on changing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulations and pathogens.

What seminars are planned?
This fall, scheduled web cast seminars have addressed the value of manure in energy production (September 14) and matching alternative treatments to environmental concerns (October 19). November 16’s web cast will discuss vegetative treatment systems for barnyard and open Lot runoff. Plans are also being developed to address final U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) CAFO regulatory changes, the impact of ethanol industry distiller’s grain use on nutrient plans, pharmaceuticals use and the risk to environment, manure management for small farms, and animal housing options for handling dry manure, just to name a few.

How do interested people access the LPE Learning Center?
Seminars and web resources can be accessed through the center’s web site, located at Check out the ‘Web cast Series’ options in the left hand column of the home page.

Who is the customer for these seminars and web resources?
The project targets individuals and organizations that influence animal producer decisions on environmental issues. Regulatory and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agency staff, extension educators, and private sector advisors are regular participants. Producers are always welcome, but presentations tend to focus on the needs of those advising animal producers with the intent that these advisors will adapt this national information to local needs.

Can participants receive Continuing Education Credits (CEC) for seminars?
Yes, all seminars since November 2006 are approved for continuing education units from both Certified Crop Advisors and Animal Registry for Professional Animal Scientist. Instructions on receiving credit are found along with the web cast seminars.

How do interested people stay aware of upcoming web casts?
The LPE Learning Center provides subscribers with a monthly, two-page newsletter introducing upcoming web casts and highlighting national resources. People can join the 950 current subscribers by going to

What is planned for the LPE Learning Center’s future?
The Learning Center is currently assembling plans for eight to10 additional seminars in 2008, in addition to the three planned for the fall of 2007.

The biggest current project is to substantially expand the content of recommended resources accessible from the LPE Learning Center’s web site. A team of 60 university and public agency representatives are assembling web content that will provide visitors with access to the ‘Best of the Best’ of educational resources and decision tools covering nine animal manure management topics. It’s hoped this expanded web resource will be available in early 2008.


Presentations Available for On-Demand Viewing and CEUs
• Value-Added Processing
of Manure.
• Value of Manure in Land
Application Systems.
• Lessons Learned from the
Smithfield Agreement.
• Nitrogen Availability from
Organic Sources.
• Manure Application to Legumes.
• Integrated Nutrient
Management and Limits of the
Phosphorus Index.
• Pathogens in Animal Manure –
Should We Be Concerned?
• Proposed CAFO Regulation

Who is the LPE Learning Center?
The learning center was the vision of the late Dr. Frank Humenik, a professor with North Carolina State University, who provided leadership for national collaboration in research, public policy and outreach education targeted at environmental stewardship in animal production. The LPE Learning Center is currently led by Jill Heemstra and Rick Koelsch with the University of Nebraska, Joe Harrison with Washington State University, and Mark Risse with the University of Georgia. A team of 15 representatives from other land grant institutions, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. EPA, the USDA, and Environmental Defense have contributed to making this vision a reality.

Everyone who works with the livestock and poultry industry on environmental issues is invited to become familiar with the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center.


*Jill Heemstra and Rick Koelsch are with the University of Nebraska. Joe Harrison is from Washington State University. Mark Risse is with the University of Georgia.


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