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The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center, a National Facilitation Project of the NIFA National Integrated Water Quality Program, and The National Center for Manure & Animal Waste Management external link, funded by the USDA Fund for Rural America, are important projects helping USDA address this issue.

Animal Waste Management Educational Programs

cows, equipment in barn yardEducational programming is an essential component of the National Water Program. Extension education takes research-based information developed at colleges, universities, and other sources throughout the world, interprets it and delivers it to youth and adult citizens. Educational information on sound practices of animal waste management is available from Extension programs across the nation.


Educational Programs to Farmers and Animal Industry





Continuing Education Programs / Certification Programs
Individual states may have their own certification requirements. For example, a state may require all permitted animal waste management systems to be operated by a certified operator. Cooperative Extension programs have stepped up to run these various certification programs.

Delaware: Nutrient management certification classes through University of Delaware Cooperative Extension (Hansen, 2003). As of December 2002, 1600 individuals have participated in this program.

Illinois: Certified Livestock Management Training, University of Illinois Extension

classroomIowa Manure Management Action Group Commercial manure applicators and confinement site manure applicators that need to be certified to apply manure can meet certification training requirements by attending video training at Iowa State Univ.

North Carolina: Land application training for animal waste systems operators, a program of the Soil & Water Environmental Technology Center at North Carolina State University

South Carolina: Clemson Extension, South Carolina Confined Animal Manure Managers Certification Program Training

Tennessee: >Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning Writer Certification Program, University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service


Assisting Policy Makers
Extension programs within USDA NIFA are assisting local decision makers in developing local animal waste regulations and citing new animal feeding operation facilities.

Members of the University of Wisconsin Extension’s Land Use and Agriculture Team have developed an educational program to support local government officials as they explore the emerging issues surrounding animal feeding operations. This program has increased the capacity of local government officials to create sound public policy surrounding large-scale animal production in their jurisdictions.

scenic aerial photo of farm The Strategic Spatial and Temporal Framework for Water Quality Education and Coordination project at Pennsylvania State University is developing regional nutrient budgets at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Educational programming will utilize these nutrient budgets as an indicator of system-level impacts to stimulate thinking to address issues of uncoordinated watershed activity.

The University of Georgia AWARE (Animal Waste Awareness in Research and Extension) program often addresses policy needs in the field of animal waste management. Recently, they supplied the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with a report on phosphorus balance calculations and identified counties with problems.

The intent of this page is not to catalogue all activities but rather to indicate the types of extension activities in the Animal Waste Management theme across the U.S.