Selecting Preferred Land Application Sites: Extension Curricula for Interactive Land Application Education

preview of map in progress
The curricula contains a map where participants keep track of their progress visually as they work through the different activities.

An educational curricula was pilot tested in 2020 by Extension professionals in Nebraska and Minnesota. It utilizes a table-top sized map game board, six pre-planned scenarios, and interactive planning by small groups to select preferred manure application sites. The curricula addresses:

    • How far will I need to travel to manage manure nitrogen? Phosphorus?
    • Which fields benefit the most agronomically from manure?
    • How far can I afford to travel?
    • Which fields benefit most from manure’s soil health benefits?
    • What water quality risks are connected with individual fields?
    • How can I use a weather forecast to minimize neighbor’s odor risks?

These activities often lead to lots of peer-to-peer teaching. For example, we have witnessed discussions about minimizing compactions and planning to minimize impacts on community infrastructure and neighbors. As participants work through these discussions, they add their happy and sad face emojis to the map to weigh the benefits and concerns connected to individual fields.

Resources Available for Adapting to Your State

The curricula includes:

preview of factsheets and worksheets
Factsheets complement each activity’s main worksheet, helping the participants make their decision on which field is the best for manure application.
    • a 25-square mile map,
    • scenarios set up for six alternative animal feeding operations (you pick one for your group),
    • four alternative fields for land application with simplified information cards (soil tests, soil health tests, nutrient requirements, water quality risk indicators), and
    • worksheets and one-page information sheets for each of the six scenarios.

You may download electronic copies of all resources, adapt to your state, and begin sharing a highly interactive and peer-to-peer educational experience.

Downloadable Resources

Thank you for your interest in the curricula. Please fill out the following form to access the files:

Contacts

Leslie Johnson, Rick Koelsch and Amy Schmidt

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.

Exploring Interactions Betwen Agricultural Decisions and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Using Swine Production

green stylized pig logoThe materials on this page are an interactive lab designed to introduce students (high school level) to pig farming and the connections between management decisions  and the greenhouse gas emissions. It also includes information on the economic implications of those decisions. Background information and activities are provided in a graphical (visual) format. Part one can be a stand-alone activity or prepare students for part two.

You can download each of the files individually using the links below or download the entire lab (134 pages – PDF format). The information contains references to Arkansas agriculture and swine production in some areas, but the information is still applicable in other states.

What do you know about swine and greenhouse gases?

This one page (PDF format) fact sheet (including a fun short quiz) can be utilized as part of this lab or as a stand-alone handout to stimulate discussion. Download factsheet

Part One Activity  – The Basics

This section includes five files that introduce the basic concepts of greenhouse gases, swine production systems, and glossary of swine production terms. This activity utilizes both text and graphical presentation of concepts and emphasizes information comprehension. Download Part One

  • Resource information – lesson plan and background information. This includes three aspects of swine management systems including feed management, housing management, and manure management.
  • Farm management system graphics – a visual aid to depict how each individual practice/component contributes to the building of a given pig farm system.
  • Farm flashcards – brief description and graphical rendering of various swine farm components
  • Lab report form – several structured questions designed to
  • Farm management option guide (FMOG)*

*The FMOG also doubles as a scenario key for the completion of Part 2.

Part Two Activity – Challenging

This section provides more in-depth information on swine production systems and greenhouse gases. It provides insight into management obstacles faced by pig farmers in balancing carbon footprints, available resources, producer goals, and legal compliance. This critical-thinking activity is meant to be completed in small groups. Download Part Two

  • Resource information – lesson plan and background information.
  • Farm management option guide FMOG
  • Three scenarios – each covers manure, feed, and housing
  • Flashcards – including health and feed, housing, manure

Acknowledgements

Authors: Rick Fields and Karl Vandevender, University of Arkansas. For questions about these materials, contact Rick at rfields@uaex.edu

This information is part of the program “Integrated Resource Management Tool to Mitigate the Carbon Footprint of Swine Produced In the U.S.,” and is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68002-30208 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Project website.

Animal Agriculture and Climate Change Curriculum Materials

The materials available for each topic vary, but there are generally presentation slides, video, video lecture, or factsheets. Also see the comprehensive, free, online course. It requires about 10-12 hours and you receive a certificate upon completion.

Sources of Greenhouse Gases (Animal Agriculture)

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

  • Animal ag & GHGs materials developed for ag teachers (AFNR cross-referenced) More…
  • Six archived webinars (dairy, pork, poultry, manure application & animal ag)
  • Beef Sustainability: Where Does Climate Change Fit? View (31:37, 83 MB)

Climate Sciencethe Basics

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

  • Map with links to each state climatology office More…
  • [online article] Global Climate Change – What Does It Mean for Us? More…

Climate and Weather Trends

Impacts on Animal Production

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

  • Intro to Heat Stress in Dairy (10:51, 20 MB) View
  • Economics of Heat Stress (25:59, 49 MB) View
  • Impacts of Heat on Swine (28:51, 36 MB) View

Adaptation & Risk Management

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

  • [videos – pigs] Intro to pig heat stress & ventilation (11:11, 18 MB) View ; Emergency ventilation (11:15, 17 MB) View; Evaporative Cooling (6:14, 9MB) View
  • [videos – dairy] Maintaining reproduction during heat stress (album of 8 videos) View
  • Cooling Strategies for Dairy (51:33, 98 MB) View
  • Matching cattle to forage resources (45:05, 71 MB) View
  • Preparing for a flood (17:21, 34 MB) View
  • Adapting to Hotter Periods of Heat: Heat Stress on Dairy Farms (6:06) View

Mitigating Greenhouse Gases

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

  • Pork-specific mitigation info (FAQs, research summaries) More…
  • [video-beef] Mitigation & Adaptation (1:07:20, 44 MB) View
  • Anaerobic digesters – benefits & feasibility View (5:43)

Communicate about climate

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

Regulations, Markets, & Opportunities For Animal Agriculture In Climate Change

Additional materials (videos, related projects, archived webinars, other resources). If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

More Curriculum Materials on Animal Agriculture & Environmental Stewardship

  • Air quality… (generally written for college-level classes and professional continuing education programs/extension).
  • Multiple topics… (developed for high school, jr. college, beginning farmers, and extension educators and are cross-referenced to the national ag education [AFNR] standards)

Archived Webinars on Sources of GHGs

This list was too long to put in the table above.

Acknowledgements

This page was developed as part of a project “Animal Agriculture and Climate Change” an extension facilitation project to increase capacity for ag professionals. It was funded by USDA-NIFA under award # 2011-67003-30206. If you have questions about any of the resources or have problems downloading/viewing, contact Crystal Powers cpowers2@unl.edu or Jill Heemstra jheemstra@unl.edu.

For questions about the AACC project, contact Rick Stowell rstowell2@unl.edu or Crystal Powers.

Making Sense of Smells – Communicating Odors to Diverse Audiences

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Example of odor visualization system using colors and shapes to replace chemical jargon.

Why Is Smell and Odor Important to Animal Agriculture?

Smell is perhaps the least understood of our five senses.  Yet, the human perception of odor may mean the difference between war and peace for a livestock farmer and his neighbors.  Because the science of  smells is complex, there is a tendency to run straight for the organic chemistry book when we try to describe farmstead odors.  This approach goes right over the heads of most people.  There must be a better way to communicate odors to diverse audiences.  This workshop can be utilized by teachers or extension staff to teach about communication of a topic that is frequently encountered by farmers, ag professionals, and others. To see the presentation slides, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Learning Objectives

This two hour workshop will explain how to use an innovative visual technique to describe farmstead odors to general audiences without resorting to chemical jargon.  The visualization technique based on shapes and colors was developed at Oklahoma State University in the mid 1990s, and has been used to talk about odors with many diverse audiences.  The method demonstrates that odors have “structure”, and can be measured using the four concepts: character, concentration, intensity, and persistence.

Students will also participate in a mock laboratory exercise to demonstrate how odor intensity and pleasantness are measured.  Results of the exercise will be analyzed in “real time”.  Further analyses of previous exercise runs will be compared and contrasted to the workshop results.  This laboratory has been presented to over 250 college freshmen and their results are presented in this recording.

Workshop Introduction

What is an Odor?

Measuring Odors

Odor Experiment

Another Odor Experiment

Physiology of Smell

Author

Douglas W. Hamilton, Associate Professor and Extension Waste Management Specialist, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service dhamilt@okstate.edu

Doug Hamilton is an associate professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Oklahoma State University.  He has three degrees in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Arkansas, Iowa State University, and Penn State University.  His sense of smell remains keen despite the fact he has worked with livestock manure for nearly 34 years.

For More Information

 

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.

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.

Anaerobic Digester Workforce Training Curriculum Development

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Purpose

The Cornell University PRO-DAIRY Anaerobic Digester Workforce Development Project is a project funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, aimed at developing and delivering high quality educational programs targeted to a range of workforces within the dairy farm-based anaerobic digestion (AD) sector of the clean energy field.  One of the barriers to growth of the AD industry in New York State, as identified by current AD operators, is the lack of a trained, skilled workforce to service and maintain different aspects related to the AD and biogas systems.  These courses are aimed at developing a workforce to support this need, and to eliminate this barrier to growth.

What Did We Do?

Six technical short-courses were developed, intending to provide educational training to persons who are involved in the planning and implementation of dairy farm-based anaerobic digestion systems and to those currently or who would soon be managing an operating system.  The short-courses developed are:

 

· Introduction to Farm-based Anaerobic Digestion

· Technical Feasibility of On-farm Anaerobic Digestion

· Economic Feasibility of On-farm Anaerobic Digestion and Economic Assessment Model Instruction Guide

· Practical Considerations and Implementation of Anaerobic Digestion System from Planning and Design to Construction

· Technician’s Start-Up and Operation

· Biogas Clean-up and Utilization Systems Selection, Operation and Maintenance

 

What Have We Learned?

We have learned that it is difficult to deliver technical training for jobs and a workforce that do not yet exist.  Training was mostly targeted at dairy farms currently or expecting to operate an AD and biogas system, and those that advise these farms.  The authors feel that although participant numbers were usually lower than expected, continuing to offer these courses will eventually eliminate a technical expertise barrier, helping aid growth in the field.

Future Plans

Although funding for this project has ceased, efforts will continue to serve technical schools that have interested parties that may be suitable candidates to enter the field and participate in the training programs.  As demand exists, courses will be offered to farms and their advisers across the State.

Authors

Jennifer Pronto, Research Assistant, Cornell University, jlp67@cornell.edu

Additional Information

http://www.manuremanagement.cornell.edu/Pages/Funded%20Projects/AD_Workforce_Development_Project.html

Acknowledgements

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority was the funding organization for this project.

 

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.

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