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.


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.

Federal Regulations and Pending Legislation Affecting Nutrient Management

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Why Should We Follow Regulatory Discussions About Nutrient Management?

The presenters will discuss the Clean Water Act as it pertains to nutrient management.  The presentation will describe current and ongoing federal action in several watersheds in the form of a Total Maximum Daily Load or Numeric Nutrient Criteria.  Areas discussed will include the Chesapeake Bay, the Oregon Coast, the Illinois River in Arkansas and Oklahoma, marine and freshwater systems in Florida, and the Mississippi River watershed.  The presentation will conclude with a discussion on the agriculture community’s role in nutrient management issues.

Decisions are being made everyday in Washington, D.C. by federal agencies, Congress, and the courts on how farmers and ranchers must manage their manure and their operations. It is important that producers and experts in the field educate their elected representatives and regulators on the important use  of nutrients and our efforts to protect the environment at the same time we attempt to feed an ever-growing world.


Jeff Blackwood, The Fertilizer InstituteAt the time of this presentation, Jeff Blackwood was the director of government relations at The Fertilizer Institute in Washington, DC where he monitored and lobbied legislative and regulatory matters regarding nutrient use issues, agriculture policy, chemical security and water quality. Prior to joining TFI, Jeff worked as Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), advising the Senator on legislation related to agriculture policy. In this position he managed bills and amendments including several considered during the 2008 Farm Bill and the annual agriculture appropriations process. Prior to his work with Sen. Dorgan, Blackwood was the Senior Grassroots Advocacy Advisor with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and previously served as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Brad Carson (D-Okla.). Since that time Jeff has taken a new position as Manager of Government Affairs for agriculture policy at BASF.  jeff.blackwood@basf.com


Ashley McDonald, National Cattlemen's Beef AssociationAshley Lyon McDonald, Esq., Deputy Environmental Counsel, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Ashley grew up on a diversified agricultural operation with row crops and a small commercial beef backgrounding and feeding operation in the town of Norborne, Missouri.  She received her Agriculture Economics degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA. As NCBA’s Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley represents cattle producers before Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Management and Budget on many environmental issues that increasingly affect the cattle industry. Ashley can be contacted at: amcdonald@beef.org


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. 2013. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Denver, CO. April 1-5, 2013. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.