Certified Livestock Manager Program Sets Winter Workshops

URBANA — "User-friendly" is the best way to describe this year's Certified Livestock Manager Training Workshops. "We're giving people a lot of options," said Randy Fonner, University of Illinois Extension specialist and coordinator of 11 upcoming workshops across the state.
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"We've tried to make our schedule flexible," Fonner said. "When we have two workshops in an area, we've scheduled the first before Christmas and the second after the first of the year. We've also increased the number of species-specific workshops."

Three workshops will be geared to swine production and two workshops will focus on beef/dairy. To accommodate the schedule of most beef/dairy farms, the special beef/dairy workshops will begin an hour later than the regular workshops.

"Of course," Fonner emphasized, "all the workshops are open to all producers. Dairy producers can come to a swine workshop and still be certified. They just need to know that the examples and discussion will be primarily aimed at swine production."

Since the Livestock Management Facilities Act was passed in Illinois in May of 1996, certification in livestock manure management is required for producers with more than 300 animal units, and must be renewed every three years.

For certification, producers with 300 to 999 animal units can choose from three options: 1) Attend a Certified Livestock Managers Training Workshop. 2) Take a series of six quizzes on the Internet (www.livestocktraining.com). 3) Pass the written exam given by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Producers with more than 1,000 animal units must attend the workshop or take the quizzes and pass the Illinois Department of Agricultures written exam.

State regulations require that eligible livestock facilities have one person certified in manure management, but Fonner believes that facilities with multiple employees would do well to have two, or even three, employees certified.

Finally, he would like to see producers representing smaller operations attend the workshops as well, whether or not they opt for certification.

"We're doing two beef/dairy workshops, realizing that most beef/dairy operators don't have to be certified by Illinois law," he said. "They either have fewer than 300 animal units or their animals are raised on pasture." (State regulations apply only to confined animal settings and feedlots.)

"But anyone can have problems with feedlot runoff, odor control or water quality," Fonner added. "We can show the smaller operations some things that will help them better deal with the rules and regulations that are applicable to them."

He also emphasized that the workshop does not just deliver an environmental message. It covers other aspects of livestock operations, such as soil testing, nutrient management, manure storages, land applications practices and mortalities.

"These are issues for smaller facilities as well as larger ones," Fonner said.

To register for a workshop and/or order the new C.L.M.T. Manual or CD, call (800) 345-6087. Please register at least three weeks prior to the workshop.

Source: ACES News - 30th October 2003

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