Editorial: September-October 2012
From waste to worth
By Marg Land
I’m sure most of you are now in the midst of your busy fall period, emptying lagoons and pits of accumulated manure in preparation for fall planting or providing a boost of nutrients to the soil before the dormancy of winter.
For what it’s worth, I am also busy preparing for my “crunch” time – about five to six months of editorial nightmare involving overlapping deadlines, back-to-back trade shows and conferences plus my personal favorite (not): lots of air travel. I’m not a very good flyer, which doesn’t go over well with my pilot husband or fit in with a job that requires traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada – two fairly large countries. After all, you can only drive so far. But I work through my discomfort because after the travel comes something I enjoy immensely – learning.
I’m an information junkie, which makes sense considering I entered the writing profession. I love to gather more and more information and knowledge about anything and everything that interests me – including manure management – and share it with others. So I was excited when information regarding a new conference involving manure and its relation to air, water, soil and climate bounced into my inbox.
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center, which comprises manure and nutrient management experts from universities across the U.S., is hosting From Waste to Worth: Spreading science and solutions, a national conference aimed at integrating research, education and Extension efforts related to managing the environmental aspects of livestock and poultry production. The five-day conference will include workshops, tours, posters, a trade show and oral presentations.
“Our livestock and poultry learning center on eXtension.org prides itself on connecting the nation’s best research-based science and top scientists to the people that need the information,” said Dr. Mark Risse, a professor with the University of Georgia and chair of the new conference. “We believe this conference will attract both groups and encourage dialogue between those that generate and use the information.”
“Representatives of commodity groups, environmental agencies, regulatory and policy agencies, government agencies, farmers, producers, technical service providers and consultants should … attend the conference,” added Jill Heemstra with University of Nebraska Extension.
From Waste to Worth will take place April 1 to 5, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Denver, Colo. For more information, visit www.extension.org/63747.
Speaking of shifting from waste to worth, Toto, a Japanese company famous for its toilets (and not the American rock band from the 1970s and ’80s), recently unveiled its newest creation – a motorcycle that runs on manure. The Toilet Bike Neo is based on a three-wheeled, 250 cc trike, and sports a fancy toilet seat (it’s decoration, you can’t actually “use” it). The hog runs on biogas fuel collected from livestock manure and wastewater that has been purified and compressed. And while journalists and writers have been having a field day writing headlines announcing the “green machine,” I’m just going to poo-poo the toilet humor.
See you at the shows.