Active participation in livestock and poultry sustainability initiatives


Whether at the farm, integrator or industry level, sustainability programs have unique goals, metrics and approaches. In many cases, there is no definitive path for meeting long-term goals, but in the ambiguity is opportunity. Meeting sustainability goals will take a community of persons on and off farm willing to support measurements, communication and technology development. This session builds on the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community’s (LPELC) September 2021 Webinar, Industry Initiatives for Environmental Sustainability – a Role for Everyone.

This Waste to Worth workshop features small and large group discussions to identify modes for active participation in livestock and poultry sustainability initiatives.

What Did We Do?

Industry-led sustainability programs are in various stages of charting a destination for environmental metrics, like greenhouse gas emissions, water quality, water use, etc. However, with respect for the range of individual farm resources, climates and systems, there is no prescriptive path.

As farmers and organizations chart their own sustainability journey, there is a need for on-farm baseline metrics, goal setting, and technology guidance. LPELC’s mission is to provide on-demand access to “the nation’s best science-based resources that is responsive to priority and emerging environmental issues associated with animal agriculture” ( The LPELC is in a strong position to share science and support communication efforts. However, like sustainability journeys, LPELC needs a roadmap.

This workshop will illuminate what resources are currently available, knowledge, technology and communication gaps, and how LPELC members can support on-farm sustainability initiatives. Participants will collectively shape a logic model for a “Community of Support for Producer Engagement in Livestock Industry Environmental Sustainability Initiatives”.

What Have We Learned?

A summary of the workshop results will be shared following the conference.

Future Plans

We intend the workshop results to foster stronger networks and collaborative directions for advancing on-farm sustainability initiatives. We aim for short, medium and long-term outcomes that include stronger understanding of current efforts within the livestock industries and LPELC, along with support mechanisms for decision making and funding opportunities.


Erin Cortus, Associate Professor and Extension Engineer, University of Minnesota

Corresponding author email address

Additional authors

Marguerite Tan, Director of Environmental Programs, National Pork Board; Hema Prado, Director of Sustainability, American Egg Board; Michelle Rossman, Vice President – Environmental Stewardship, Dairy Management Inc.

Additional Information

Webinar – Industry Initiatives for Environmental Sustainability – a Role for Everyone

US Pork Industry Sustainability Goals

US Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry

US Dairy Net Zero Initiative


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