The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center at Kansas State University (KSU) connects manure management experts from land-grant universities and federal agencies with livestock producers and their advisors.
The connection is http://www.extension.org/, then click on Animal Manure Management.
The center at KSU is part of the national Extension interactive Web resource customized with links to local Cooperative Extension Web sites.
The center was launched in March 2008 and logs more than 12,000 hits per month. The goal is to be the first stop for science-based information on animal manure issues.
“The most popular resources are the live and archived Web casts,” says Jill Heemstra, manure management Extension educator in Nebraska and the national coordinator for the center. “When we have a live Web cast, people from about 100 sites log on, but each recorded Web cast receives more than 70 views every month.”
Live Web cast presentations take place at 1:30 p.m. (CST) on the third Friday of each month. Twenty archived Web casts are currently accessible.
The Web site also offers:
· A newsletter promoting upcoming Web casts and summarizing research projects and new resources on animal manure issues.
· More than 100 pages on manure treatment technologies, storage and handling, environmental planning, regulations, small farms, nutrient management plans and more. A database stores frequently asked questions.
Individual questions are directed to university experts in the “Ask the Experts” resource.
New resources planned for next year include research-based information on antibiotics and hormones, air quality and grazing system water quality.
The Web site has a wider audience than anticipated, says Mark Risse, a professor at the University of Georgia and one of three project co-leaders.
“Beyond people who advise producers, county Extension agents, Natural Resources Conservation Service staff and consultants, we are finding policymakers, producers, the general public and even other scientists are using the Web site,” reports Risse. “It is the best science-based information on manure compiled from around the country to a single site. Users are coming to it to answer specific questions, for general education and for continuing education.”