University of Illinois Extension and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) will host a “Ventilation and Air Quality for Livestock Systems Field Day” on Nov. 7, 2012. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Agricultural Engineering Farm, located south of the campus at 3606 S. Race St., Urbana, IL.

“Livestock producers from Illinois and surrounding states will have the opportunity to learn more about advances in modern ventilation systems and air mitigation strategies as they relate to their operations,” says Laura Pepple, livestock Extension specialist in ABE. 

The program includes hands-on exercises with ventilation system controls and measures of energy efficiency and biofilter effectiveness. Producers will have the opportunity to visit with engineers, agency representatives and ventilation system manufacturers. 

Matt Robert, agricultural engineer from the state office of the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will be the luncheon keynote speaker, discussing energy and air quality initiatives in NRCS programs. 

Seminar topics include:

  • Biofilters: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 
  • Balancing Ammonia Reduction and Nitrous Oxide Production
  • Moisture Control: The Key to Biofilter Success
  • Reducing Energy Cost in Ventilated Livestock Buildings: An Example from Broiler Housing

The Mobile Environment and Energy Laboratory, a specially built enclosed trailer for simulating ventilated livestock housing, will be on site. Jeremiah Davis and Jody Purswell, faculty from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University, will give demonstrations on lighting and heat lamp efficiency, fan performance, ventilation system controls management and energy usage in livestock housing. Do-it-yourself construction options for biofilters will also be demonstrated.

Livestock ventilation equipment manufacturers will have displays at the field day, and company representatives will be on hand to visit with producers about fan, heater and cooling system controls.

An optional tour of the University of Illinois Solar Decathlon home, with a discussion on green energy, will also be available.

The Illinois Pork Producers Association has provided funding support for this event, along with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture. 

Registration is free and lunch will be provided; however, space at the field day facility is limited, so participants are highly encouraged to pre-register by Nov. 2.  Additional information and registration is available by contacting Pepple at or (217) 244-0083.