Improving disease identification, treatment, & antibiotic stewardship in livestock production

This webinar will focus on assisting livestock farmers and veterinarians to better identify, diagnose, and treat sick animals with the goal of improving farm efficiency and antibiotic stewardship. This webinar is brought to you by the iAMResponsibleTM Project, a nationwide team of researchers and extension experts working to develop and deliver effective outreach on antimicrobial resistance for diverse audiences. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 18, 2023.

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An Introduction: Improving disease ID, treatment, & antibiotic stewardship in livestock production

Mara Zelt, University of Nebraska – Lincoln (5:06)

Next Generation Grow-Finish Swine Health and Growth

Tami Brown-Brandl, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (22:59)

Presentation Slides

Enhanced Veterinary Diagnostics and Antimicrobial Stewardship

J. Dustin Loy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (21:20)

Presentation Slides

Antimicrobial Stewardship in Dairy Production: Mastitis Examples

Daryl Nydam, Cornell University (19:50)

Presentation Slides

Questions from the Audience

All presenters (9:40)

More Information

Continuing Education Units

Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz (not available yet). Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


New and On-going Research to Fight Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock Production

What’s being done about antibiotic resistance?

If you’ve been paying attention to the growing public discourse on antibiotics in livestock production you might well ask what can be done and what is being done about growing drug resistance. After all, even while consumer concerns tend to focus on the potential for antibiotics to enter the food supply, folks working in livestock and poultry production know that the threat of antibiotic resistance is really about growing risks for difficult or impossible-to-treat microbial disease. Moreover, producers know that this is a threat to the veterinary care their animals need as much as to human health. So again, what is being done to address resistance in livestock production?
Continue reading “New and On-going Research to Fight Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock Production”

Responsible Antibiotic Use on Dairy Farms

Are you ready for a pop quiz?

Off the top of your head, how would you answer the following questions:

    • How often do dairy cattle receive antibiotics in dairy farms in the US?
      • a) Daily
      • b) As needed and advised by a veterinarian
    • Are there more antibiotics in milk from cows raised without antibiotics or cows raised on conventional farms?
      • a) Conventional farms
      • b) Neither, all milk is tested and removed from the food supply if it contains antibiotics, no matter the source.

Continue reading “Responsible Antibiotic Use on Dairy Farms”

Antibiotic resistance in environment has One-Health implications

A summary of The Human Health Implications of Antibiotic Resistance in Environmental Isolates from Two Nebraska Watersheds by Donner et al. 2022

Key points

  • The interconnected health of humans, animals, and the environment is well established and increasingly studied in concert within a “One-Health” framework.
  • Approximately 40% of the bacteria isolated from watersheds in this study had acquired new antibiotic resistance genes which they had picked up in the environment.
  • Both urban and agricultural watersheds contained antibiotic-resistant bacteria, demonstrating the importance of one-health-based decision-making across industries and institutions.

Continue reading “Antibiotic resistance in environment has One-Health implications”

Impacts of social media on public awareness and behavior related to antimicrobial resistance


Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections are a significant threat to public health. That is why a nationwide coordinated effort among university outreach programs to convey science-based knowledge on AMR dynamics to stakeholders, was established using the moniker the iAMResponsible (iAMR) project in 2019. The project title, “iAMResponsible”, is intended to convey that everyone has an obligation to understand AMR and learn how they can adapt to using science-based practices to mitigate AMR and preserve the efficacy of antibiotics for future generations. The iAMR project seeks to cooperate with related efforts to leverage resources and amplify dissemination of AMR-related educational information. The objectives of the iAMR project are to: (i) increase nationwide capacity to develop AMR related educational content, (ii) facilitate the dissemination of research-based materials through a national network of project members and collaborators, (iii) effectively engage audiences of disparate backgrounds on a shared responsibility for AR, and (iv) empower behavioral change among different audience groups that preserves the efficacy of antibiotics. While the activities of the iAMR team are varied, this study assesses the network building and communication efforts of the iAMR Project on social media.

What Did We Do?

The use of social media to build communication capacity for AMR outreach was measured by the following metrics: total followers and frequency of keywords in search of follower profiles using tools from

For this study the efficacy of social media dissemination was measured in the total impressions (number of users who saw a post) earned by outputs, and the geographical spread of follower locations. Both impressions and follower location are measured by native analytics tools available on various social media.

This study uses the engagement rate, provided by social media analytics to measure audience interest in published materials (engagement rate is the percentage of audience who saw the post and interacted with the post in some way–interactions include retweets, likes, link clicks, follows, media opens, etc.). Native (available from the social media platform) analytics data also allowed us to assess the relationship of engagement rate to specific message factors. To measure audience interest in specific topics, engagement rate was determined for tweets containing keywords and symbols.

To assess the use of social media for motivating behavioral change in the audience, the team developed a 20-question survey with questions on attitudes towards antibiotics, AMR, and the iAMR project. Beginning in the spring of 2020, the team has promoted the same survey annually on different social media platforms to determine attitude changes over time.

What Have We Learned?

Total following for iAMR social media accounts is now just over 4000 (4096 as of Feb 7, 2022). Looking at the most frequently appearing keywords appearing in follower profiles provides some insight into who the followers are (Figure 1). Preeminent among these keywords are “public health,” “antimicrobial resistance,” “infectious diseases,” and “PhD student.” Given this collection of terms we can infer that the iAMR audience likely has a strong interest in and awareness of public health threats like AMR. This would indicate that while iAMR has been effective at building a network among interested, engaged and knowledgeable people in scientific fields, but less adept in reaching audiences with little awareness of AMR or those working in agriculture or food safety fields.

Figure 1: Word cloud of terms included in the biographies of iAMResponsible’s social media followers. Created by

iAMR posts have earned roughly 1,000,000 total impressions (948,266 as of Feb 7, 2022) on 720 total posts, or roughly 1300 impressions per post. Impressions measure only the times a user has seen a post they are not a measure of audience engagement. Therefore, while impressions function as a measure of dissemination they are not a reliable measure of the communication impact. In the examination of the geographical reach of iAMR followers (Figure 2) it is evident that iAMR has a larger international than domestic audience, with a particularly large node in Great Britain.

Figure 2: iAMR’s global social network. Node colors indicate size of the nearby audience, blue (1-9), yellow (10-99), red (100-999). Total >4000 worldwide

Overall engagement by audience members with posts from iAMR activity are illustrated in (Figure 3). For the 702 (as of Feb 7, 2022) posts iAMR generated roughly 21 engagements per post, of those engagements roughly 2 were link clicks, about 5 were shares, and 9 were likes. In the context of the per tweet average for impressions (1350) these numbers seem very low but in fact the overall engagement rate of 1.53% is above average (in 2020 average engagement was 0.07% on Twitter, 0.27% on Facebook, 1.16% on Instagram).

Figure 3: Overall engagement by audience members with posts from iAMR, as of Feb 7,2022

To examine what topics were of particular interest to the audience the engagement rate data was broken down by keywords contained in the body of iAMR’s posts, the mean engagement and 95% confidence interval for posts containing the keywords are illustrated in Figure 4. In this examination of user engagement based on post characteristics, the highest engagement was associated with posts containing an “@” symbol. Whereas users were less likely to engage with posts containing the words livestock, agriculture or prescription when compared to the overall engagement with iAMR’s posts.

Figure 4: Average engagement rates for iAMR’s social media content containing keywords or symbols; error bars indicate a 95% confidence interval for mean engagement rate.

Audience engagement with AMR attitude and behavior survey has been low and because most participants respond to only some of the survey questions of the 335 total responses which have been logged during the past 3 years, many key questions have response numbers as low as 9. As a result, we do not have enough data to statistically assess our survey results and present the following as results as instructional rather than conclusive (Table 1).

Table 1: Proportion of Social Media Audience Responding Affirmatively to Selected Web Survey Questions
40% (n=40) Have a medical, doctoral or veterinary degree.
90% (n=51) Expressed concern about growing AMR
65% (n=63) Said they regularly tell others about AMR.
100% (n=23) Said they considered iAMR a reliable source for information on AMR.

Future Plans

Based on audience profiles and content engagement the iAMR account has done a poor job reaching agricultural audiences, or audiences not already engaged with AMR.  Accordingly, future work will need to identify outlets, outside of social media, for engaging new-to-AMR audiences. However, there is value in cultivating the current account audience of engaged and expert users who could join the growing network of iAMR contributors and provide some level of expertise on outreach projects going forward. Moreover, survey results indicate that the current audience has developed trust in the iAMResponsible brand and the educational materials that the team has developed, which provides additional opportunities for dissemination of content into audience communication networks that might not be picked up by the analytical approach used in this assessment.

The iAMResponsible project team will continue efforts to identify educational needs, produce and curate research-based content intended to improve public awareness about AMR, and improve access among producers, consumers, and stakeholders to research-based information about potential AMR-related food safety risks


Mara Zelt, Research Technologist, University of Nebraska

Corresponding author email address

Additional authors

Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska; Amber Patterson, Extension Assistant, University of Nebraska; Amy Schmidt, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska

Additional Information

Project website



Funding for the iAMR Project was provided by USDA-NIFA Award Nos. 2017-68003-26497, 2018-68003-27467 and 2018-68003-27545. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Characterization of General E. coli and Salmonella in Pre- and Post-Anaerobically Digested Diary Manure


Anaerobic digestion (AD) speeds up natural degradation of manure during storage, reduces odor, and produces energy by capturing methane. After AD, wastewater can be utilized on farms as a crop fertilizer and irrigation, and solids can be used for animal bedding.

Manure can be environmentally problematic and a reservoir of infectious agents (Guan et al., 2003). Previous studies have shown that anaerobic digestion of dairy manure decreases concentrations of viable fecal bacteria known to cause zoonotic diseases, notably E. coli and Salmonella (Aitken et al., 2007; Frear et al., 2011; Pandey and Soupir, 2011; Manyi-Loh et al., 2014; Chiapetta et al., 2019)

This study’s objective was to characterize and compare genetic changes in pathogens pre- and post-AD as evaluated by metabolic changes (sugar fermentation) or antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics. Generic E. coli (GEC) and Salmonella were selected for evaluation in this study as both are known to cause food borne and zoonotic disease. While a limited number of specific bacteria have been studied, AD has shown efficacy in pathogen reduction for both GEC and Salmonella. Characterizing these bacteria in AD influent and effluent can more firmly establish the efficacy of AD for reducing potential risks to human and animal health posed by these pathogens. We hypothesized that GEC and Salmonella would meet the 75% threshold of genetic similarity (post-AD vs pre-AD), suggesting limited mutation and lowered risk of AD creating resistant strain.

What Did We Do

An anaerobic digester (AD) in Monroe, WA was utilized from December 2008 through March 2010 to assess its effects on the survival and adaptation of pathogens in dairy manure (Chiapetta et al., 2019). The AD was a plug-flow design with a capacity of approximately 6.1million liters that was operated at ~38°C for a 17-day retention time. Inputs to the AD were comprised of 70% dairy cow manure and 30% pre-consumer food wastes from the dairy farm where the AD was located and from local food processors, respectively. Salmonella and general E. coli (GEC) were isolated from samples collected before and after AD. GEC isolates were characterized by sugar fermentation profiles (adonitol, dulcitol, melibiose, raffinose, rhamnose, salicin, sorbose, sucrose and the indicator medias MAC and MUG) and genetically compared using repetitive extragenic palindromic chain reaction (REP-PCR) followed by Ward’s cluster analysis. Salmonella were separated into serogroups. The Kirby Bauer disk diffusion method was used to identify antibiotic resistance (AMR). Antibiotics used were: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamycin, amikacin, kanamycin, sulfamethaxazole/triemthroprim, streptomycin, tetracycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, nalidixic, sulfisoxazole, and ceftazidime.

What Have We Learned

Antibiotic resistant GEC isolates were isolated from 22.3% and 19.1% of pre- and post-AD samples, respectively, and were observed to be genetically similar after clustering for sugar fermentation. Analysis of genetic similarity using the Pearson’s chi square method (e.g. likelihood–ratio) revealed that AD status (pre- vs. post AD) antibiotic resistance was not statistically significantly associated with AD (Figure 1, Table). Any effect of AD on AMR was dependent on grouping based on % genetic similarity.

Genetic analysis (REPPCR for GEC) yielded similar results, following a Pearson’s Chi Square test of log likelihood it was determined that AD status (pre- vs. post AD) and AMR were not significantly associated (Figure 1). Any effect of AD on AMR was dependent on grouping (Table 1).

Salmonella predominant serogroups (Table 2) (B, C1, and E1) remained at 23%, 9%, and 2% AMR pre- and post-AD. Analyses showed a significant interaction between Salmonella serogroup vs. source (p=0.0004) and serogroup vs. AMR (p<0.0001). No interaction was observed between source (pre- or post-AD) and AMR for Salmonella, p=0.12. There was no uniform effect for Salmonella as a group based on AD.

In summary, GEC sampled pre- and post-AD showed no difference in sugar fermentation, nor significant genetic dissimilarity, nor antibiotic resistance. Salmonella serotypes were observed to be equally or inconsistently effected by AD. Overall, the evidence suggests that anaerobic digestion does not create antibiotic resistant GEC and Salmonella.

Figure 1. Dendrogram of the sugar fermentation cluster analysis of generic E. coli. G= group based on sugar fermentation similarity, and n= number of isolates within each group.

Running a Chi Square on that: AD status (pre- vs. post AD) antibiotic resistance was not statistically significantly associated with this set of fermentation cluster memberships.

Pearson chi2(19) = 25.5411 Pr = 0.143

Table 1 – Data distribution of REPPCR GEC data
Pre-AD Post-AD
Grouping Susceptible Resistant Susceptible Resistant
1 2 2 3 (Am*)
2 2 5 (2 – Am, Cf, S, G, Te) (Am, S, Te) (Te)
(Amc, Am, Cf)
1 3 (Cf)
(2 – C, S, G, Te)
3 6
4 5 3 (2 – G, Te)
(Cf, C, S, G, Te)
5 1 2 1 (Amc, Am, Cf,  S, G, Te)

*Am = Ampicillin, C= Chloramphenicol, CF = Ceftiofur, S = Streptomycin, G = Sulfasoxizole, Te = Tetracycline, Amc = Amoxycillin clavulanic acid

(fisher.test(tbl, simulate.p.value = TRUE, B = 1e5)

Fisher’s Exact Test for Count Data with simulated p-value (based on 1e+05 replicates)

p-value = 0.104

If no selection is occurring, output equals input, so at P < 0.1 is a trend for a selective process.

Table 2 – Salmonella – Number of susceptible or resistant bacteria
Serogroup Pre-AD Susceptible Pre-AD Resistant Post-AD Susceptible Post-AD Resistant
B 6 1 1 10
C1 12 4 14 0
C2 1 8 0 0
E1 34 0 50 0
K 4 2 2 2
Total 57 65 29 12
% 47 53 71 29

Configuration 1 SeroGrp*ABResist = best fits – association (interaction) of serogroup and resistance

Configuration 2 SeroGrp*PrePost = best fits – association (interaction) of serogroup and pre- post AD, but is conditioned by whether it is resistant

Goodness-of-fit Summary Statistics

Statistic Chi-Sq DF P
Pearson 6.91 5 0.2276
Likelihood 8.67 5 0.1230
Freeman-Turkey 8.28 5 0.1416

Number of Near Zero Expected Cells     4

Three observations were made:

      • a serotype may become more resistant as it goes through the AD
      • a serotype may become less resistant, or
      • a serotype may not survive.


J. H. Harrison – Livestock Nutrient Management Specialist, Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center

Additional Authors

J. Gay – Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
R. McClannahan – Facility Manager – Integrated Research and Innovation Center – University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
E. Whitefield – Research and Outreach Specialist Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center


Aitken M. D., M. D.Sobsey, M. D., N. A.Van Abel, K. E.Blauth, D. R.Singleton, P. L.Crunk, C.Nichols, G. W.Walters, and M.Schneider. 2007. Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during thermophilic anaerobic digestion of manure from dairy cattle. Water Res. 41:1659-1666. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2007.01.034.

Chiapetta, H., Harrison, J. H., Gay, J., McClanahan, R., Whitefield, E., Evermann, J., Nennich, T., Gamroth, M. (2019). Reduction of pathogens in bovine manure in three full scale commercial anaerobic digesters. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 230:111.

Frear C., W.Liao, T.Ewing, and S.Chen. 2011. Evaluation of co-digestion at a commercial dairy anaerobic digester. Clean—Soil, Air, Water. 39:697-704. doi:10.1002/clen.201000316.

Guan T. Y., and R. A.Holley. 2003. Pathogen survival in swine manure environments and transmission of human enteric illness—a review. J. Environ. Qual. 32:383-392.

Manyi-Loh C. E., S. N.Manphweli, E. L.Meyer, A. I.Okoh, G.Makaka, and M.Simon. 2014. Inactivation of selected bacterial pathogens in dairy cattle manure by mesophilic anaerobic digestion (balloon type digester). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 11:7184-7194. doi:10.3390/ijerph110707184.

Pandey P. K., and M.L.Soupir. 2011. Escherichia coli inactivation kinetics in anaerobic digestion of dairy manure under moderate, mesophilic, and thermophilic temperatures. AMB Express. 1:18. doi:10.1186/2191-0855-1-18.


The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2022. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Oregon, OH. April 18-22, 2022. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Antimicrobial Resistance From a One-Health Perspective: A Multi-Disciplinary University Instruction from Extension Professionals


Contemporary issues faced by Extension professionals are often technically and politically complex, crossing a range of subjects, academic disciplines, and value systems. Addressing complex social issues to achieve desired impacts across disparate audiences requires collaborative efforts that engage multiple disciplines, represent unique geographic regions and cultural settings, and implement varying outreach methods. For example, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is truly a “wicked problem” as it is global, complex, and difficult to solve. It is a “big picture” issue that must be addressed at multiple smaller scales where values, beliefs, cultural norms, and habits collide with science, innovation, public policy, and behavioral science, all forming a complicated intersection of separate, yet linked, continuous feedback loops.

The iAMResponsibleTM Project, is a nationwide extension program working on outreach and education on AMR within agriculture, food production, and food safety systems. In 2019, the team prioritized two approaches to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations on AMR research and increase AMR-related outreach to disparate audiences: a) greater engagement of graduate students in understanding AMR and the value of their area of study to approaching this issue from a One Health perspective; and b) improved science communication skills among graduate students. To that end, we proposed the development of a web-based, graduate-level university course to expand the impact of iAMResponsibleTM programming by engaging students in learning about the scientific, cultural, and political aspects of AMR across relevant disciplines.

The primary objectives in offering this novel, web-based university course that integrates research-based learning with science communication were to:

    1. Facilitate optimal distribution and utilization of research-based, AMR-related food safety information and resources at the state, regional and national levels among future and current food producers and consumers; and
    2. Develop AMR/Food Safety content to fill existing gaps or emerging areas of significant needs that are not being addressed regionally, nationally, and globally.

What Did We Do

Multi-university instruction

Spring 2020

A one-credit, graduate-level seminar course exploring U.S. and global challenges related to AMR in food systems, research-based strategies to mitigate potential risks associated with AMR, and successful methods of communicating this complicated scientific topic to food producers and consumers was first taught simultaneously at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of Maryland. Instructors on site at each participating institution facilitated listing of the course in their course catalog to allow students to enroll for credit at the university where they are studying. Each meeting of the class featured invited presentations by experts from across the U.S. sharing research, policy, and communication perspectives on AMR.

Spring 2021

Following the same format as the initial offering, the course was taught simultaneously at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, University of Minnesota, and Washington State University.

Based on experiences and student feedback from the 2020 and 2021 offerings of the course, lecture topics for the 2022 offering include:

Topic Presenter
Introduction to antibiotic resistance one-health Dr. Amy Schmidt, University of Nebraska – Lincoln and Dr. Stephanie Lansing, University of Maryland
Principles of extension programming and outreach Dr. Joe Harrison, Washington State University
First fully live session: Introduction to the course and student expectations All Instructors
Impact of AMR on medical practice and human health Dr. Rosa Helena Bustos – head of clinical pharmacology at Universidad de la Sabana
Challenge of AMR for animal health care Dr. Paul Morley, Texas A&M University
The natural occurrence and current state of the AMR challenge for environmental pollution Dr. Thomas Ducey (USDA-ARS)
Guided panel: Environmental mitigations for AMR Panelists: Carlton Poindexter, University of Maryland; Dr. John Schmidt, USDA-ARS; Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, University of Nebraska;

Moderators: Dr. Stephanie Lansing and Dr. Mahmoud Sharara

Intervention and tracing of AMR in the food supply Aaron Asmus – Hormel Foods

Julie Haendiges, US-FDA

History of public attitudes towards microbiology and what it tells us about how to approach AMR Dr. Kari Nixon, Whitworth University
Alternating Spring Break Class activity on identifying and evaluating science communication
Alternating Spring Break Class activity on identifying and evaluating science communication
Worldwide Implications of AMR Student led examination of AMR as it is experienced around the world
Challenges in development of antibiotics and alternatives for antibiotics Dr. Glenn Zhang, Oklahoma State University
How to assign risk to AMR found in non-clinical settings Dr. Bing Wang, University of Nebraska
Dead week workday – students work time. Submit reports and recorded presentations by the end of the workday on Friday, April 22. Zoom rooms will be available as needed. Led by Dr. Noelle Noyes
Final project review Student project Q&A sessions

Science Communication

As a joint offering by several extension faculty, this course was designed not only to cover the fundamentals of AMR but also as an opportunity to introduce STEM students to important skills and concepts used by extension professionals. As a part of this multi-institution collaboration, students worked together with their peers across the country to review and develop research-based resources and methods for communicating scientific information about AMR to non-academic audiences. These efforts were facilitated by the inclusion of lectures on extension principles and science communication, and team-based outreach projects, to support development of outreach and educational thinking and skill development within students in STEM fields. Moreover, content created by students through team projects that produced well-designed outreach content were intended for dissemination by the iAMResponsibleTM Project. The result was the production of outreach materials that transcended expertise represented by project team members.

Evaluation methods

Methods for evaluating the content and delivery of this course have been adjusted with each subsequent offering. During the first year an informal focus group discussion was conducted with students at the end of the term to solicit feedback and suggestions for future iterations. Throughout the second session (2021) students filled out weekly surveys following each lecture, as well as a survey assessment of the course. Instructors were also asked to evaluate the course content and delivery following the 2021 offering.

Students are evaluated on a combination of participation in the course discussion (during the lecture period or online following the lecture) and on evaluation of student projects. The student projects include a large emphasis on teams cooperating to identify a target audience for their shared topic, establishing a shared goal for their audience, and creating impactful outreach products to achieve their intended outcomes. Moreover, as a part of their participation and evaluation for this course, students are asked to review the effectiveness of their peers’ outreach products and the peer critiques are incorporated into the final student evaluation for the course.

What Have We Learned

Feedback from the students

Results from the student focus group in 2020 were highly influential on the expanded instruction for science communication strategies and addition of international emphasis on AMR discussions in subsequent years. Survey results following the second session again highlighted the value the students placed in the instruction on science communication, audience identification, and navigating public attitudes toward AMR, science, and disease. Student participation in Spring 2020 (two institutions) and 2021 (five institutions) totaled 28 students. Evaluations by students revealed the following outcomes:

Student comments included:

Student surveys also indicated that the logistical issues surrounding the expectation for students to work with colleagues cross-institutionally on class assignments was the most significant challenge encountered. Accordingly, the syllabus for the current (Spring 2022) offering allocates more discussion time during lectures for students to grow more comfortable with one another and provides the students with a cross-institutional work environment on Slack to facilitate discussion outside of class time. We await the student evaluations from 2022 to provide a more detailed understanding of how these changes will affect student experience but, after 4 weeks of the course, the average weekly participation on Slack is holding at about 70% of participants who regularly check-in, read, or respond to discussion on the platform.

Feedback from the instructors

The development and delivery of this course has had the unintended consequence of providing an opportunity for the instructors of the course to also continue to learn and engage on this dynamic topic. Following delivery of the course in 2021, instructors were asked to evaluate the course content and delivery method, revealing the following data:

Future Plans

Utilization of course materials outside of the course

Lectures, and student projects developed during the first two offerings of the course have been repurposed and made available for a wider audience through the LPELC platform, further linking extension and classroom educational goals and providing the students in the course the opportunity to develop materials for immediate practical application within the national extension community.

How to apply the lessons learned for other extension issues areas

We believe that the results of the students’ evaluations indicate that the next generation of STEM professionals not only values expertise in extension skills but will actively seek to develop those skills for themselves if given the opportunity. Accordingly, we see a value in pursuing similar courses as part of an extension portfolio.

How to assess the long-term impacts

We will also seek to engage former participants in this course in an assessment of how the training received, in systems thinking, multidisciplinary collaboration, and science communication have been effective in their professional work in subsequent years.


Amy Schmidt, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Mara Zelt, Research Technologist, University of Nebraska
Stephanie Lansing, Professor, University of Maryland
Rohan Tikekar, Associate Professor, University of Maryland
Mahmoud Sharara, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
Joe Harrison, Professor Emeritus, Washington State University
Noelle Noyes, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Additional Information

Selected course materials are available through the LPELC website


Funding for the iAMR Project was provided by USDA-NIFA Award Nos. 2017-68003-26497, 2018-68003-27467 and 2018-68003-27545. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2022. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Oregon, OH. April 18-22, 2022. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.