This presentation will provide an overview of Pennsylvania’s Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification program and highlight results of the industry survey. Pennsylvania’s Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program was mandated by state law in 2006. The unique program has five certification levels, each with unique education requirements (Table 1). In 2018, a survey was completed by 218 certified individuals at eleven Continuing Education Credit events.
Analysis of the survey revealed a significant positive relationship between certification level and score on knowledge questions. Company owners, managers and supervisors are required to attend more educational programs, and these individuals scored higher on knowledge questions than their employees. Those individuals surveyed worked on an average of 38.5 farms per year. Results of the survey indicated that the program empowers industry professionals with science-based knowledge. Thus, enabling wise field-level decisions across many farms, acres, and manure handling scenarios with positive implications on water quality.
The goals of the survey were to 1) gather descriptive information about certified individuals, 2) test certified individual on key program competencies, and 3) use test results as a tool for evaluation of educational impact and shortfalls to guide future programming. Furthermore, results can validate program effectiveness in discussions with local, state, and federal agencies. Such a body of facts is pertinent and timely as governmental agencies and agricultural interest groups work together to meet goals established for the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.
Program educators feel that survey results supported their thoughts that educational efforts and certification help the industry to continually improve responsible handling of manure nutrients in the state and affirm that these programs have real favorable impacts on water and air quality.
A peer-reviewed journal article is expected to be available later in 2019 that will include greater depth of information on the program and survey.
|Table 1: Description of Certification Levels and Continuing Education Credit (CEC) requirements of Pennsylvania’s Commercial Manure Hauler and Broker Certification Program.|
|Certification Level||Brief Description||Certification Education Requirements||Continuing Education Credit (CEC) Requirements|
|Manure Hauler Level 1||Transport but not land-apply manure.||Completes verification form and understanding checklist.||None. Must complete checklist annually.|
|Manure Hauler Level 2||Transport and land-apply manure. Must be supervised.||Studies workbook and completes examination at county office.||6 CECs in 3-year period.|
|Manure Hauler Level 3||Owner or manager. Can supervise Hauler Level 2 ‘s.||Attends Act 49 Orientation certification class and completes examination.||9 CECs in 3-year period.|
|Manure Broker Level 1||Assumes ownership of manure and determines its end-use. Cannot write Nutrient Balance Sheet. Can supervise Hauler Level 2 ‘s.||Attends Act 49 Orientation certification class and completes examination.||9 CECs in 3-year period.|
|Manure Broker Level 2||Assumes ownership of manure and determines its end-use. Can write Nutrient Balance Sheet. Can supervise Hauler Level 2 ‘s. Can take additional course to write P-Index plans.||Attends Act 49 Orientation certification class and completes examination. Attends Nutrient Balance Sheet class and completes examination.||12 CECs in 3-year period, 3 or more of which must be specific to Nutrient Balance Sheets.|
Senior Extension Associate
Department of Animal Science
The Pennsylvania State University
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