Western Region Dairy Odor and Air Quality Education

2008 Annual Report for EW07-009

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2007: $89,236.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Pius Ndegwa
Washington State University

Western Region Dairy Odor and Air Quality Education


The goal of this project is to reduce the environmental impacts of dairy farming in the West so as to promote and guarantee sustainability of the milk and cheese industry in the region. The specific objective of this proposal is to train Agricultural Professionals selected across the dairy producing regions in the West on best management practices (BMPs) available to dairy producers for the mitigation of air quality degradation. These professionals will be expected to incorporate these BMPs in their regular outreach activities upon their return to their respective work stations.

Recently, the EPA initiated a nationwide study to determine what pollutants (ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and particulates matter: PM10 and PM2.5) and what sizes of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may require regulations. In the event that the regulations are put into effect, some or all facilities may be required to incorporate or install BMPs to mitigate emissions of these pollutants. In addition, several states in the West such as 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 (CAA). Dairy producers, therefore, need to be aware of the available effective BMPs that they could utilize in order to comply with either the federal or state regulations. The proposed extension education will address these regulations, and introduce respective BMPs for alleviating the respective emissions in order to prepare the producers in advance to deal with these issues today and/or when (and if) the regulations come into effect.
This proposal is a multi-State, multi-disciplinary Extension Education Project to provide a unified approach to providing this important service to the livestock industry. The proposed project will, therefore, rely on the air quality research and extension expertise from specialists across the West to develop an initial and continuous air quality education program for agricultural professionals. Four hands-on educational workshops will be conducted across the Western region, and will serve as an in-depth introduction to air quality issues, regulations and control practices. Workshop participants will then participate in a series of 10 live web-cast presentations on specific air quality issues. Finally, archived web-casts, workshop presentations, video tours, and other educational information will be made available on a public website.
The effectiveness of this educational project will be assessed using tools such as: (1) pre & post quizzes during training, (2) hit counter in the web-site, (3) number of professionals incorporating air quality information from this program into their education or outreach programs, (4) surveys of workshop participant’s intentions of incorporating air quality issues in their programs, (5) request of technical assistance of air quality BMPs by producers, and (6) assessment of reduction of air pollution complaints.

This project is also expected to serve as a quasi-pilot educational program and will provide other interested agricultural professionals educators with a template to conduct similar programs elsewhere in the nation. Program material developed under this program will be available on the web to project participants, extension educators, and to the public.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The goal of this project is to reduce the environmental impacts of dairy farms in the West. The objective of this proposal is to train Agricultural Professionals from State Cooperative Extension, NRCS, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, state regulatory agencies, and producer groups in the dairy producing regions in the West on environmentally sound practices that can be used on facilities and to promote and guarantee sustainability of the milk and cheese industry. The educational program will equip these agricultural professionals with knowledge and skills they can use to advance best management practices (BMPs) necessary to reduce air pollution from dairies in their outreach activities. As a result of this education initiative, we expect at least 50% of dairy producers to implement recommended practices and/or technologies by the third year of the program.
In brief, it is projected that the benefits of this educational program will ultimately be reflected in less air pollution from the dairy industry and therefore, less costly nuisance lawsuits that continually threaten the sustainability of this industry. In general, this project is expected to result in: (1) Enhanced environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends, (2) Sustained economic viability of agricultural operations and their communities, and (3) Enhanced quality of life for farmers and ranchers and society as a whole.


4.1. Curriculum: The basic curriculum for each workshop has been developed and covers the following topics in addition to other site specific topics:
Lesson 1a – Dairy Air Regulations in California
Lesson 1b – Air Quality Legislation in Oregon & Washington
Lesson 2 – Measuring Livestock Odors
Lesson 3 – Odor Mitigation Strategies (BMPS)
Lesson 4 – Ammonia Measurements Techniques
Lesson 5 – Ammonia Mitigation Strategies (BMPs)
Lesson 6 – VOCs Measurement Techniques
Lesson 7 – VOCs Mitigation Strategies (BMPs)
Lesson 8 – H2S Measurements and BMPs
Lesson 9 – Particulates Measurements Techniques
Lesson 10 – Particulates Mitigation Strategies (BMPs)
Lesson 11 – Dietary Changes for Air Quality
Lesson 12 – Greenhouse Gasses and Carbon Credits

The fully developed lessons are accessible to the general public at the program’s website at the following address: http://www.bsyse.wsu.edu/ndegwa/main/WOAQ/WOAQhome.html

4.2. Workshops: Four workshops are proposed in each of the following sites to cover all the participating Western US States:

1. Davis, California to cover Southern and Central CA, NV
2. Western Washington to cover Western WA & OR, Northern CA
3. Boise, Idaho to cover ID, Eastern WA, UT
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico to cover NM, AR, CO, West Texas, Western Kansas

The first workshop was successfully held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this past fall. The other three workshops are scheduled for winter in California, spring in Idaho, and summer in Washington.

4.3. Website Development: A project website has been developed as a resource for project participants and the public (see: http://www.bsyse.wsu.edu/ndegwa/main/WOAQ/WOAQhome.html). The website will serve as an archive of workshop presentations, web-cast presentations, video-tours of control practice installations, extension bulletins and fact sheets as well as links to related web resources.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The only impact assessed so far is on the effectiveness of the one workshop held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as the quality of the delivery of the workshop curriculum described in subsection 6.1. These impacts were based on the evaluation of the participants pre-workshop and post-workshop knowledge levels (Table 1) and their perception of the scope and delivery of each topic (Table 2). Additional questions on the questionnaires also provided additional information on the potential future impact of this program. The responses to the additional questions are also presented in this progress report (after Table 2).

Table 1: Evaluation of the pre and post-workshop knowledge level of participants on each topic (see paper report)

Table 2: Evaluation of the technical content and presentation/delivery of each topic Technical Content (see paper report)

Do you think the knowledge gained from this workshop will be helpful to you? Y or N (please circle one): 100% of the participants responded ‘Yes’
Do you think the time spent attending this workshop is worth it? Y or N (please circle one): 100% of the participants responded ‘Yes’
Would you recommend this workshop to someone else who would benefit from knowledge gained from it? Y or N (please circle one): 100% of the participants responded ‘Yes’


Robert Hagevoort

Extension Dairy Specialist
New Mexico State University
NMSU Ag Science Center at Clovis
2346 SR 288
Clovis , NM 88101
Office Phone: 5059852292
Website: http://cahe.nmsu.edu/ces/dairy/dairy-faculty.html
Ronald Sheffield

Extension Waste Management Engineer & Assistant Pr
University of Idaho
University of Idaho Extension
P.O. Box 1827
Twin Falls, Id 8330
Office Phone: 2087363625
Mario E. de Haro Martí

Extension Educator
University of Idaho
Dairy and Livestock Environmental Education
203 Lucy Lane
Gooding, ID 83330
Office Phone: 2089344417
Website: http://extension.ag.uidaho.edu/gooding/
Dr. Joe Harrison

Professor, Nutrient Management Specialist
Washington State Universi
2606 West Pioneer
Puyallup, WA 98371
Office Phone: 2534454638
Website: http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/dairy/nutrient-management/default.asp
Michael Gamroth

Professor, Animal Sciences Extension Dairy Special
Oregon State University
Oregon State University
128 Withycombe Hall
Corvallis , OR 97331-6702
Office Phone: 5417373316
Website: http://ans.oregonstate.edu/personnel/faculty/gamroth.htm
Frank Mitloehner

Associate Cooperative Extension Specialist for Air
University of California
Department of Animal Science
University of California
Davis , CA 95616-8521
Office Phone: 5307523936
Website: http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/faculty/Mitloehner/