National conference on agricultural waste and environmental quality seeks input

Abstracts, posters welcomed from scientists and educators and farmers

Manure nutrient management and manure treatment technologies are only two of  the many topics for which a national conference on waste management is seeking abstracts. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

Manure nutrient management and manure treatment technologies are only two of the many topics for which a national conference on waste management is seeking abstracts. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, rd-burns@tamu.edu

SEATTLE – A national conference on the impact from animal and agricultural waste on air, water, soil and climate is calling for abstracts, posters and workshop ideas – and not just from scientists and educators, but from farmers and agribusinesses as well.

The deadline for abstracts and other inputs is Sept. 15, 2014, though the “From Waste to Worth” conference itself is not scheduled until March 30 –April 1, 2015, said Dr. Saqib Mukhtar, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service engineer and associate head of the Texas A&M University department of biological and agricultural engineering, College Station.

The 2014 deadline for input is to aid planning of the conference and to help ensure that it is responsive to ever-changing technologies and challenges, Mukhtar said.

The previous conference was held in Denver in 2013, and focused largely upon poultry and dairy and other confined animal manure and wastewater, he said. It encouraged input on studies of on-farm experience, climate change and animal agriculture, manure nutrient management, manure treatment technologies, environmental planning, pathogens, and regulations, Mukhtar said.

The 2015 conference, the second in the series, will do all that and more, as well as put special emphasis on equine waste, he said.

“There are approximately 1 million horses in Texas alone, and what to do with the manure generated as well as the old bedding may constitute a management issue, not just for owners of work horses but of hobby horses too,” Mukhtar said.

Other areas of emphasis – and legitimate topics for posters, panels and workshop proposals — will be:


– Environmental quality.
– Soil health.
– Climate change.
– Environmental planning.
– Feed management.
– Manure nutrient management.
– Manure treatment technologies.
– Pathogens and pharmaceuticals.
– Regulation.
– Small farms and beginning farmers.
– Manure and dead animal management.
– Manure value and economics.
– Case studies and on-farm experience.
– Harnessing innovative delivery.

An abstract is a brief summary, usually only a few paragraphs long. The term usually applies to peer-review research articles, but can also apply to a thesis, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a subject or technical innovation, Mukhtar explained.

Mukhtar emphasized that though the conference is geared for professional research and Extension personnel, proposals from farmers and agribusinesses are more than welcome.

“The end goal of all this is to find ways of helping farmers and agribusinesses take control of air- and water-quality management, and how their actions affect overall environmental quality,” he said.

“Examples of the kinds of farmer input we are looking for might be case studies of on-farm experience, climate change and animal agriculture, manure nutrient management, manure treatment technologies, environmental planning, pathogens, and regulations.”

Student posters and proposals are also welcome, he said.

To see the proposal guides, go to http://www.wastetoworth.org and click on the “Presenters” tab.

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