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Animal Agriculture and Climate Change: Building Capacity among Extension Educators Working with Livestock and Poultry

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting  162458283.(doi:10.13031/aim.20162458283)
Authors:   Gary L. Hawkins, David Smith, Rick Stowell, Crystal Powers, Jill Heemstra, Joe Harrison, Elizabeth Whitefield, Saqib Mukhtar, Mark Risse, Pam Knox, Curt Gooch, Jenny Pronto, David Schmidt, Larry Jacobson
Keywords:   Cattle, poultry, capacity, continuing education, extension, extension educators, climate change.

Abstract. Climate change has significant implications for the future of animal agriculture. Since 2011, the goal of the ‘Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate (AACC)‘ project has been to build capacity among US Extension educators who advise livestock and poultry producers, and to develop resources they can use to assist producers in their regions adopt climate smart practices. The AACC project team developed a database of educational resources which provided educators with regional information related to animal agriculture and climate change. The AACC project team is comprised of Extension specialists from six Land-Grant Universities in partnership with the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC). Team members from five different US regions (Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Western U.S.) developed regionally-relevant educational materials, hosted workshops and conferences, and collaborated with key stakeholder organizations to disseminate climate change information. Nationally, the AACC team administered a comprehensive online course for Extension educators and technical service providers who serve livestock and poultry producers, and collaborated with the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center‘s Waste-to-Worth conferences to facilitate international involvement. The online course includes modules on climate and weather trends, and climate change impacts and adaptation, risk management, climate science, sources and mitigation of greenhouse gases, regulation and carbon marketing, and communication strategies. Through collaboration with other national climate change projects and regional USDA Climate Hubs, the AACC project team continues to develop educational materials including fact sheets, publications, and videos related to climate change in animal agriculture.

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