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EPA's Plan For Agriculture

Work on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) national curriculum for addressing livestock environmental issues is underway, says Ron Sheffield, North Carolina State University (NCSU), one of the curriculum's 15 authors.

Twenty-six teaching modules are being developed as part of USDA's expanded regulatory and voluntary efforts under EPA's Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations.

The education programs, funded in late 1998, are being developed by a national team of land grant universities and Natural Resource Conservation Service experts. The programs are designed to foster the livestock industry's compliance with environmental regulations.

Sheffield explains the national curriculum project has three goals:

* To develop a nationally recognized, producer-oriented, core curriculum to address high-profile livestock environmental issues; four issues will be addressed: manure storage, odor management, land application and nutrient management as well as alternative strategies and treatment technologies for each of the four issues;

* To review the curriculum and to pilot test it regionally; and

* To disburse curriculum resources through five, regional, in-service programs electronically via the EPA Ag Center Web site and in text format from the Midwest Plan Service, which will provide national marketing and dissemination of a printed national curriculum.

The completed curriculum, covering all species of livestock, is slated for the fall of 2001.

By the summer of 2002, a week-long "manure college" is being proposed to provide intensive classroom and in-field training on the curriculum to consulting engineers and certified crop advisors.

For more information, contact Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska, (402) 472-4051 (phone), (402) 472-6338 (fax) or e-mail