Ag Environmental Management Systems Publications Curriculum Materials

This series of agricultural environmental management system (EMS) publications are the result of a five year project, Partners for Livestock EMS that field tested EMS tools with over 200 beef, dairy, and poultry producers in nine states. The ag EMS processs process is aimed at helping farmers and ranchers integrate environmental decision making into the day to day management of their operation. The process emphasizes the following actions:

  • Assess current performance and regulatory compliance.
  • Establish effective communication.
  • Set priorities for environmental improvement.
  • Develop action plans focused on measurable objectives.
  • Maintain comprehensive, well-organized records.
  • Identify and control potential sources of error.
  • Monitor progress toward objectives.
  • Regularly improve plans and re-assess priorities.

Users are encouraged to create individualized approaches to achieving objectives. The result is an ag-friendly EMS that is consistent with international standards.

Who Should Download the Ag EMS Publications?

These publications are targeted for use by farmers, ranchers, and their advisers. Educators and agency staff will find them useful in program development. Download the entire package (.ZIP format – includes both Word and PDF versions of all six publications)

An Introduction to Ag EMS (PDF format) | (Word format) (Word cover)

Target audience: Farmers, educators, and coaches/advisers
Purpose: An introduction to Environmental Management Systems (EMS) concepts for farmers, educators, coaches, and others. It explains the basic requirements and the benefits of the EMS process. It can also be distributed to those potentially interested in an EMS educational program. Download PDF | Download Word & cover

EMS Fact Sheets (PDF format) | (Word format)

Target audience: Farmers
Purpose: A companion to My EMS Workbook. This publication contains a fact sheet for each step of the EMS process. It provides an explanation for each topic, examples, and a list of recommended tasks. Download PDF | Download Word

My EMS Workbook (PDF format) | (Word format)

Target audience: Ag producers
Purpose: Intended for use with the EMS Fact Sheets. This publication contains blank worksheets that producers can complete. When completed, the workbook will serve as a summary or manual of their EMS. Download PDF | Download Word

Example My EMS Workbook (PDF format) | (Word format)

Target audience: Ag producers, educators, and coaches
Purpose: This publication is an example of the My EMS Workbook already completed for a case study beef feedlot. The example is intended to provide producers with a sense of how the materials will look when completed and offer ideas for their own EMS. Educators and coaches may use the example as-is, or they can modify it to reflect a particular animal species or geographical location. Download PDF | Download Word

EMS Sample Record Keeping Forms (PDF format) | (Word format)

Target audience: Ag producers, educators, and coaches
Purpose: These forms are blank templates that can be used as-is or modified to accommodate a producer’s record-keeping systems. The publication covers a wide range of environmental record-keeping topics that are commonly required in regulatory programs, in cost share programs, and by producers wishing to demonstrate a high level of environmental stewardship. Note: The CAFO regulations have been modified since the publication of this material. It is recommended that you verify requirements in federal and your state regulations and modify the materials if necessary before distribution. Download PDF | Download Word

EMS Supplement (PDF format) | (New handout 4b) | (Word format)

Target audience: Educators and coaches
Purpose: This publication provides guidance on setting up an educational program and gives additional information related to each topic. A list of recommended tasks or activities is included. It also contains one or more handouts for each step that can be photocopied and given to producers. This publication compares the relationship between the ISO 14001 standard and the EMS model outlined in the publication. Note: You should replace the handout 4b in both versions with the file downloaded as “new handout 4b”.  (PDF format) | (New handout 4b) | (Word format)

Resources for More Information on Ag EMS