Water Quality Regulations and Animal Agriculture Curriculum Materials

As livestock and poultry production has intensified it is no surprise that regulations have become a more prominent part of the business. This module introduces the Clean Water Act (CWA) and it application to animal agriculture. This material was developed for use in beginning farmer and extension programs, high school classrooms, and for self-study or professional continuing education.

Agriculture Professionals and Farmers

Check out this self-study module “Playing By the Rules“. This module is estimated to take 60 minutes and offers a certificate upon successful completion.

Teachers, Extension, Consultants

Educators are welcome to use the following materials in their classrooms and educational programs. More modules…

  • Instruction Guide – includes lesson plan, links to additional information, connections to national agriculture education standards (AFNR Career Content Cluster Standards), application to Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, sample quiz/review questions, and enrichment activities.
  • Presentation – 36 slides, Powerpoint 97-2003 format. Annotated.

Acknowledgements

Author: Thomas Bass, Montana State University

Reviewers: Paul Hay, University of Nebraska, Lyle Holmgren, Utah State University, Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska, Elizabeth Burns Thompson, Drake University (law student), Mary Catherine Barganier, NYFEA, Shannon Arnold, Montana State.

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the National eXtension Initiative.

Greenhouse Gases and Agriculture (Self Study Lesson)

This is a self-guided learning lesson about greenhouse gases (GHG) and their connections to livestock and poultry production. It is useful for self-study and for professionals wishing to submit continuing education credits to a certifying organization. Anticipated time: 60 minutes. At the bottom of the page is a quiz that can be submitted and a score of 7 out of 10 or better will earn a certificate of completion. (Teachers/educators: visit the accompanying GHG curriculum materials page)

Module Topics

  1. Why does climate change?
  2. How does US agriculture to compare to other industries and worldwide agriculture?
  3. What greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted by livestock and poultry farms?
  4. What are mitigation and adaptation strategies

What is Climate Change?

Download and read “Why Does Climate Change?” (PDF; 8 pages). Includes basics and terminology about natural and man-made drivers of climate change.

US Agriculture Comparisons to Other Industries and Worldwide Agriculture

Watch this short video “Agriculture and Greenhouse Gases: Some Perspective” (5 minutes). This also includes some very good reasons why farmers, ranchers, and ag professionals should care about the topic of climate change, regardless of political stances on solutions.

Greenhouse Gases Emitted by Livestock, Poultry. and Other Agricultural Activities

Watch this short video discussing the most important gases produced through livestock, poultry, and cropping activities on farms and ranches. (8 minutes)

Review the following fact sheet:

Mitigation and Adaptation

Watch this short video “Carbon, Climate Change, and Controversy” by Marshall Sheperd, University of Georgia (4 minutes)

Watch this video on “Mitigation and Adaptation: Connections to Agriculture” (13 minutes)

Quiz

When you have completed the above activities, take this quiz. If you score at least 7 of 10 correct, you will receive a certificate of completion via email. If you are a member of an organization that requires continuing education units (CEUs), we recommend that you submit your certificate to them for consideration as a self-study credit (each individual organization usually has a certification board that decides which lessons are acceptable). Go to quiz….

American Registry of Professional Animal Scientist (ARPAS) members can self-report their completion of this module at the ARPAS website.

Acknowledgements

Author: Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the National eXtension Initiative.

Managing Animal Mortalities Curriculum Materials

Managing animal mortalities is an unpleasant but necessary part of raising livestock or poultry. Improper carcass disposal can negatively impact the environment and be a source of disease or pathogens. This material was developed for use in beginning farmer and extension programs, high school classrooms, and for self-study or professional continuing education.

Teachers, Extension, Consultants

Educators are welcome to use the following materials in their classrooms and educational programs. More modules… All materials except the video FAQs are available in a single ZIP file for easy download. Download animal mortality curriculum ZIP file….

Acknowledgements

Authors: Joshua Payne, Oklahoma State University; Jean Bonhotal, Cornell University; Shafiqur Rahman, North Dakota State University

Reviewer: Thomas Bass, Montana State University

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the National eXtension Initiative.

Small Scale Poultry Production Curriculum Materials

One of the most noticeable trends in agriculture is the increase in beginning farmers, small farms and especially in small-scale poultry. Everything from a few backyard chickens to 4-H projects and farms with several hundred hens or broilers all can be considered “small”. Just because a flock is small, does not mean that we can ignore areas like stewardship, efficient production, safe handling, and rules that apply to your farm.

Materials for Teachers and Extension Staff

The following materials were developed for teachers and educators to use in their classrooms and programs. The target age range is high school, jr. college and beginning farmer groups.

Download a .zip file containing all of the above files (videos need to be downloaded separately due to file size restrictions)

Video: Raising Poultry for Profit: Small-Scale Production

Download a copy of this video (.MP4 format; 73 MB)

If you prefer to play shorter video clips, this has been released as four separate parts:

Preview Presentation Slides: Small Scale Poultry

Acknowledgements

Contact Person for this Module: Martha Sullins, Colorado State University martha.sullins@colostate.edu

Authors and Reviewers:

•Blake Angelo, Colorado State University Extension, Urban Agriculture
•Dr. Jack Avens, CSU Food Science and Human Nutrition
•Thomas Bass, Montana State University Extension, Livestock Environment Associate Specialist
•Dr. Marisa Bunning, CSU Food Science and Human Nutrition
•Emily Lockard, CSU Extension, Livestock
•Dea Sloan, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Martha Sullins, CSU Extension, Agriculture and Business Management
•Dr. Dawn Thilmany, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Heather Watts, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Wendy White, Colorado Department of Agriculture
•David Weiss, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center and the National eXtension Initiative, National Association of County Ag Agents (NACAA), National Association of Agriculture Education (NAAE), Farm Credit Services of America, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), and Montana FFA Association.

Small-Scale Sheep and Goat Production Curriculum Materials

Sheep and goats are an excellent way for new and beginning farmers to enter livestock production. They are also especially well-suited to small farms. A profitable sheep and goat business will consider many different aspects including marketing, stewardship, animal care and production.

Materials for Teachers and Extension Staff

The following materials were developed for teachers and educators to use in their classrooms and programs. The target age range is high school, jr. college and beginning farmer groups.

Instruction Guide (Lesson Plan): Includes links to additional information, connections to national agriculture education standards (AFNR Career Content Cluster Standards), application to Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, activity and science fair ideas, sample quiz/review questions, and enrichment activities. PDF format (0.2 MB; best if you want to use it as-is) | RTF format (.5 MB; best if you want to modify the file)

Download a .zip file containing all of the above materials (videos need to be downloaded separately due to file size restrictions)

Video: Raising Sheep and Goats for Profit, Small-Scale Production

19:58 minutes

If you prefer shorter clips, this video has also been released as four separate parts:

Part 1: Watch on YouTube (3:30 minutes) Download a copy (.mp4)
Part 2: Watch on YouTube (8:35 minutes) Download a copy (.mp4)
Part 3: Watch on YouTube (6:30 minutes) Download a copy (.mp4)
Part 4: Watch on YouTube (5:26 minutes) Download a copy (.mp4)

Preview Presentation Slides – Small Scale Sheep & Goat Production

Acknowledgements

Contact Person for this Module: Martha Sullins, Colorado State University martha.sullins@colostate.edu

Authors and Reviewers:

•Blake Angelo, Colorado State University Extension, Urban Agriculture
•Thomas Bass, Montana State University Extension, Livestock Environment
•Dr. Marisa Bunning, CSU Food Science and Human Nutrition
•Emily Lockard, CSU Extension, Livestock
•Dea Sloan, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Martha Sullins, CSU Extension, Agriculture and Business Management
•Dr. Dawn Thilmany, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Heather Watts, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics
•Wendy White, Colorado Department of Agriculture
•David Weiss, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center and the National eXtension Initiative, National Association of County Ag Agents (NACAA), National Association of Agriculture Education (NAAE), Farm Credit Services of America, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), and Montana FFA Association.

Soil Science and Soil Health for Livestock and Poultry Production

This page is part of a series on environmental management topics developed for young or beginning farmer and ranchers. This series focuses on animal agriculture production and will also be useful to established producers as well as teachers and extension agents/educators.

Why is soil science and soil health important to animal agriculture?

Most livestock or poultry operations recycle manure on nearby land as a fertilizer. On grazing operations, this manure is deposited directly on growing plants by animals. For confined operations, manure is collected and stored until it can be land applied (spread) at an appropriate time. Understanding soil science is important for making the best decisions about manure application rate, location, and timing as well as grazing management.

Soil Science Basics

Soil Health

Soil Characteristics

Soil Sampling

Livestock and poultry farms sample soil to look at nutrient levels and use those in calculating the appropriate amount of manure and/or commercial fertilizer to apply to a field. This is an important step in a process called “nutrient management planning”. To find soil sampling recommendations and testing labs in your state, do a web search for “soil sampling” plus your state name. If you are unable to locate soil testing publications from your state, some recommended resources:

Related: Soil Testing

Knowledge and Tools For Management Decisions

Manure Impacts on Soil

Advanced Topics

Tile drainage and subsurface flow

Teacher/Educator Resources

Oregon State activity http://4hwildlifestewards.org/pdfs/soil.pdf

Acknowledgements

This Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture project was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project is a joint effort between University of Nebraska, Montana State University, Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the National Young Farmers Educational Association (NYFEA). Meet the Beginning Farmer Project Team. For more information about this project or this web page, contact Jill Heemstra jheemstra@unl.edu

Manure Management 101 Curriculum Materials

For anyone involved in animal agriculture, manure will be an important issue. In the past few years, the perception of manure has gone from a “waste” product to a valuable fertilizer and potential source of renewable energy. These materials cover the basics of manure production, manure storage options, and manure uses.

Farmers, Ranchers, Ag Professionals

A self-study module will be released soon. This module will provide a certificate upon successful completion that can be submitted for continuing education requirements.

Teachers, Educators, Extension

Educators are welcome to use the following materials (download entire module in a single .zip file; 7 MB) in their classrooms and educational programs. Also check out more modules from this project.

Instruction Guide (Lesson Plan): includes links to additional information, connections to national agriculture education standards (AFNR Career Content Cluster Standards), application to Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, sample quiz/review questions, and enrichment activities.

Presentation: 38 slides, Annotated, .pptx format (a preview is embedded at the bottom of the page)

Activity/Exercise: 3 exercises, docx. format Download

Preview Presentation Slides

Acknowledgements

Authors: Angie Rieck-Hintz, Iowa State University amrieck@iastate.edu

Reviewers: Rachel Klein, Iowa State University and Ann Ronning, Montana State University

Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA) is a collaborative effort of the National Young Farmers Educational Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Montana State University. It was funded by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award #2009-49400-05871. This project would not be possible without the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center the National eXtension Initiative, National Association of County Ag Agents (NACAA), National Association of Agriculture Education (NAAE), Farm Credit Services of America, American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS), and Montana FFA Association.

What Should I Do With Compost That Includes Animal Mortalities?

Compost containing animal carcasses should probably be utilized on crops that are not meant for human consumption for a couple of different reasons.

Disposal of the end product with regard to roadkill compost…we use it on the roadsides and plant vegetation on the roadsides.

With [farm] mortality compost, we want to be careful about where we are putting cows and chickens because we are using it back on the farm. So we may want to remove the large bones [and reuse them as part of the base for the next mortality compost pile]. We do not want to puncture any tires. But the bones do get pitted and will start breaking apart after a couple of cycles of the composting process. We do not want to use this on food crops. We may prefer to use this on field crops where the soil is tilled. We can apply the compost and then till it in. Definitely use it on crops that are harvested above the ground…corn and things like that. Do not use [mortality compost] on root vegetable or on things where we risk contamination if there is a problem.

Mortality compost can also be used in forested areas.

Author: Jean Bonhotal, Cornell University

Why Is It Important To Manage Animal Mortalities Properly?

Improperly disposed livestock or poultry carcasses represent a threat to water and air quality.

Proper management of on-farm animal mortalities is vital to every farming operation. Improper disposal of dead animal carcasses can negatively impact surface water and groundwater from carcass leachate. If the animal died of an infectious disease, pathogenic bacteria and viruses may be present within the carcass. These pathogens can be spread by insects, rodents, preda­tors, and subsurface or above ground water movement, as well as through direct contact with other livestock or poultry leading to increased disease transmission risks. Furthermore, many states have rules regulating the proper disposal of livestock and poultry mortalities. Therefore, the purpose of proper mortality disposal is to prevent the spread of infectious, contagious and communicable diseases and to protect air, water and soil quality. Note that regulated AFOs must abide by their animal mortality disposal plan outlined in their nutrient management plan.

Check out the other video FAQs on carcass management

Author: Joshua Payne, Oklahoma State University

Reviewers: Shafiqur Rahman, North Dakota State University and Jean Bonhotal, Cornell University