Broiler (meat chickens) production is the largest agricultural revenue generator in Maryland. In 2017 Maryland broiler production value was over $1 billion (USDA NASS 2017). Approximately 41% of the cash farm income in Maryland is from broiler production. Maryland ranks seventh in the United States (USDA NASS 2017). The success of contract broiler production is directly related to the success of poultry companies and grain farmers located on Delmarva. Poultry farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are under the most stringent environmental regulations in the country. These farmers are regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Therefore, commercial broiler producers on the Eastern Shore need the most up-to-date, research-based information available concerning Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and Maryland Animal Feeding Operation (MAFO) regulations in order to maintain profitable operations and reduce environmental damage caused by nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. A day long workshop was developed by this educator and UME Poultry Specialist as part of the New Source Performance Standard for EPA’s CAFO. This educator along with other UME educators, Soil Conservation Districts, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Delmarva Poultry Industry, Delaware Cooperative Extension Poultry Agents, MDE, and MDA teach this workshop. Topics discussed during the workshops include farm management, manure and mortality handling, vegetative environmental buffers (VEB), nutrient management and financial recordkeeping, CAFOs, comprehensive nutrient management plans (CNMP), and what to expect during an EPA inspection. All information taught during the workshop is shared in a manual or on a USB flash drive and a certificate of completion is awarded. This one-day workshop also awards new and continuing credits for nutrient management for Maryland and Delaware. Workshops are conducted 2–4 times per year, depending on demand, with classes averaging about 25 participants. There have been 25 classes in Maryland and Delaware since 2008, educating 751 growers and agriculture professionals. Evaluation results were as follows: 28% currently operated a poultry farm while 36% were potential poultry farmers, 95% rated the workshop excellent, 93% thought the information would be of benefit, 97% reported moderate or greatly increased knowledge or skills, 97% had a better understanding of broiler production, 83% had better understanding of poultry welfare, 88% had better understanding of brooding, 85% had better understanding of composting, and 86% better understood basic poultry ventilation.
|Conference||2020 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|