Resource Challenge In the face of increasing environmental challenges, regulatory hurdles, and economic competition, livestock and poultry producers need new tools and innovative, effective approaches to survive and help provide the clean air and water we all desire. Promoting dialogue among a diverse array of potential problem solvers was a critical first step in identifying the most promising strategies to address the complications caused by geographically concentrated manure and litter nutrients. The Waste Solutions Forum, held April 28 & 29, 2005, in Roanoke, VA, hosted 80 stakeholders from Virginia and across the nation to participate in a facilitated, outcome-based two-day discussion and planning process. The goal was to develop a Waste Solutions Strategy, a detailed action plan, for identifying, researching, and implementing economically and environmentally viable solutions, for manure and litter management in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Examples of Key PartnersDr. Katharine Knowlton, Waste Solutions Forum chair, VA Tech Dept. of Dairy Science; Dr. Foster Agblevor and Dr. Saied Mostaghimi, VT Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering; Scott Ambler and Dean Gall, VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation; Hobey Bauhan, VA Poultry Federation; Bobby Clark, VA Cooperative Extension; Chris Cook and Brock Hertzberg, VA Farm Bureau Federation; Dr. Greg Evanylo, VT Dept. of Crop and Soil Environmental Science; Suzy Friedman, Center for Conservation Incentives at Environmental Defense; Dale Gardner, VA State Dairyman's Association; Kathy Holm, Coordinator, Shenandoah RC&D; Ann Jennings, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Robin Jones, VA Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Larry Land, VA Assoc. of Counties; Bruce Lundeen, Pure Water Forum; Glenn Martin, VA Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Bob Peer and Neil Zahradka, VA Dept. of Environmental Quality
Results and AccomplishmentsPartners put together a comprehensive briefing packet outlining and providing background on critical animal waste management issues facing the Shenandoah Valley prior to the Forum. Facilitated by the University of Virginia's Institute for Environmental Negotiation, this two day Forum resulted in an action plan that will involve all stakeholders in implementing key policy and regulatory changes, research needs, pilot projects, and education across the Valley to solve nutrient management issues. The action plan has been completed and stakeholder groups are now meeting to discuss and move forward on implementation.
The highlight of this project is stakeholder involvement in planning and implementation. The Forum brought together approximately 80 key policymakers, regulators, farmers, conservationists, researchers, academics, marketers, engineers, scientists, waste management facility operators and economists to participate in the Forum. The planning process helped build ownership of the Forum's outcome: implementation of the action plan.