In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a nationwide study to determine what pollutants1 and sizes of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) might require regulation. In the event that regulations are put into effect, some or all facilities may be required to incorporate or install best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate emissions of these pollutants. In addition, several western states—Idaho, California and Arizona—have enacted air quality regulations that require dairy and livestock producers to reduce impacts either statewide or within air-sheds that are in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act.
This education program is intended for agricultural professionals from county agencies, soil and water conservation districts, state cooperative extension and regulatory agencies, NRCS, and producer groups from western dairy producing regions.
The goal of this program is to reduce the environmental impacts of western dairy farming in order to promote the sustainability of the industry in the region. The specific objectives of this proposal are:
- To educate agricultural professionals (State Cooperative Extension, NRCS, Soil & Water Conservation Districts) selected across the dairy producing regions in the West on pertinent air quality issues in the region.
- To educate agricultural professionals on the BMPs available to dairy producers for the mitigation of air quality degradation. An anticipated outcome will be the adoption of BMPs by producers.
The proposed program will rely on the air quality research and extension expertise from specialists throughout the West to develop an air quality education program for agricultural professionals. Four educational workshops will be conducted across the West and will serve as an in-depth coverage of air quality issues, regulations and control practices. During the second year of the project, workshop participants will be involved in a series of 10 live webcast presentations on specific air quality issues affecting the region. Finally, archived web-casts, workshop presentations, video tours, and other educational information will be made available through this website.