The LPELC is a network made up of professionals from across the U.S. (and Canada) with an interest and expertise in some aspect of animal agriculture and environmental stewardship. (A nice way of saying we talk about manure….a lot.) Public sector funding for people and projects devoted to the outreach and extension of research information has dwindled at an alarming rate. This learning network offers faculty and staff with opportunities to network, collaborate, mentor, and share. What used to be done by walking down the hall, now can be done in “virtual” settings. It is our way of trying to do more with less. The network was officially established in 2005 with a USDA National Facilitation grant focused on water quality. It has continued to the present through the support of other grants related to air quality, beginning farmers, and climate change among others.
A learning network like the LPELC strives to bring together all types of expertise; all the way from research and technical knowledge to application of science on the farm. Ideally, a learning network creates a feedback loop where on-farm application informs the research and science. Better science should lead to positive applications on the farm which continues to refine the science, and so on.
Individuals involved in public policy issues, animal production, and delivery of technical services for animal agriculture will have on-demand access to the nation’s best science-based resources that is responsive to priority and emerging environmental issues associated with animal agriculture.