US cash cow for livestock

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $8 million in grants for livestock operators, in a bid to address environmental issues in the agricultural community.

Grant money will fund technical assistance to livestock operators, including animal feeding operations.

The project’s aim is to help livestock operations by raising awareness to farmers of the environmental impact from the agricultural sector, which is responsible for large amounts of GHG emissions and water pollution.

Allison Wiedeman, EPA branch manager, told Edie: “The [financial aid] that’s been allocated is a congressional appropriation. This project will assist livestock operations by ensuring farmers realize the environmental impact and understand how to address [those issues], to result in improved water and air quality.”

The EPA estimates that in the United States there are 1.3 million farms holding livestock, with approximately 238,000 of these farms considered as animal feeding operations. These operations generate more than 500 million tonnes of animal waste annually and, as a resulte, continually face the challenge of how to best manage the waste in a way that reduces adverse impacts on the environment.

Grant recipients will provide livestock operations with two types of technical assistance at no cost to the operator:

  • Comprehensive assessments of water and air quality environmental challenges and recommendations for strategies to mitigate these challenges; and
  • Development or review of the facility’s nutrient management plan, which specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so the potential for runoff to water bodies is minimized.

    “The added benefit to this [scheme] would be if we could provide information and some sort of model to follow for other countries,”

    said EPA’s Allison Wiedeman told edie.

    The deadline for grant applications is July 9, 2007. All livestock operations in the United States are eligible.

    More information about the grant and animal feeding operations can be found at

    Dana Gornitzki

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