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USING EMS’S TO IMPROVE COMPLIANCE ON LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY OPERATIONS
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005 701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18406)
Authors: L. M. Risse, R. K. Koelsch, W. L. Bland, E.A. Bird and T.M. Bass
Keywords: EMS, Environmental Management Systems, compliance, waste management, water quality
Across the United States and abroad, innovative producers, processors, trade organizations and
others in the agricultural sector are exploring the promise of Environmental Management
Systems (EMS) to improve their environmental and business performance. An Environmental
Management System or EMS helps farmers develop their own, personal strategies for reducing
environmental risk on their operations by integrating environmental management considerations
into production management decisions. It is a voluntary, flexible approach and is based on a
producer's own sense of how best to manage an operation.
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Partnerships for Livestock Environmental Management Systems is a 4-year project to explore the
potential of livestock Environmental Management Systems to help prevent non-point pollution
and resolve community and regulatory concerns. The project goal is to develop and evaluate
environmental management tools and procedures with which livestock producers can address
local priority water and air quality issues. Using these tools, cooperators from nine states
developed EMSs with more than 100 dairy, beef, and poultry producers. Surveys were used to
assess the impacts of EMS development on the producers and interviews indicated the farmers
perceptions of the EMSs on their operations. Each of the nine states (Iowa, Montana, Texas,
Idaho, New York, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Virginia) approached differently the
educational task of helping farmers recognize the value of an EMS and embrace its development
and implementation. The evaluation seeks to tease out which educational approaches and
strategies worked best by studying both the educators practices and the farmers responses and
perceptions. Preliminary results indicate that EMS can benefit some operations and that larger
operations view EMSs as a method of maintaining compliance, improving management, and
demonstrating their environmental stewardship.