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Southwest Region Newsletter 
Summer 2014 
Quick Links
 AACC Website

Mark your calendars! 2015 Waste to Worth Conference, Seattle, WA, March 30-April 3.
Click here for details.

The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center
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Welcome to the Animal Agriculture and Climate Change - Southwest Region Web Letter. Scroll down for new educational opportunities, current news and relevant information regarding animal agriculture and climate change. We encourage you to forward this newsletter to others who share an interest in learning more about this topic. 


If you know of any regional research efforts that should be shared, please inform David Smith at  



Waste to Worth 2015 - Call for Abstracts - Deadline September 15, 2014.

Mark your calendars! You are cordially invited to attend the International Conference on Livestock & Poultry Environmental Quality at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, Washington March 30 - April 3, 2015. The theme of the conference is From Waste to Worth - Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture. Join a national network of agricultural professionals for four days of technical sessions, tours, networking, and social events featuring the indigenous culture of Puget Sound.  Oral, poster, panel, and workshop proposals address the general themes of air, water & soil quality, watershed management, research & outreach, and climate change will be accepted through September 15, 2014.


Sessions will feature:

  • environmental quality & soil health
  • manure nutrient management
  • manure treatment technologies
  • feed management
  • manure value & economics
  • anaerobic digestion
  • and much more

To register for the conference, submit an abstract, become a vendor or sponsor, and make hotel reservations visit


More than 200 educators have completed the On-line Animal Agriculture & Climate Change course. Have you?


Want to learn more about climate science, greenhouse gases, mitigation strategies, carbon markets, and communication strategies to deal with this contentious issue? This free 12-hour, self-paced course is ideal for Extension educators and other professionals looking to develop and expand their understanding of climate change and its implications for livestock and poultry production. Have a burning question or concern about climate change but don't know who to ask? Interact with course instructors who have a range of backgrounds and expertise. 


Register now for the next Animal Agriculture & Climate Change On-line course.


Students who complete the course are eligible for 10 Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and 8 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) continuing education credits.  
Course monitor photo
Climate: No Spin. Just Facts.
The Climate Science On-line Course is now available on eXtension Online Campus.

This free 2-hour, self-directed course covers basic terminology and concepts, climate reconstruction  methods, climate monitoring and recent trends, and the basics of climate modeling. After completing the course you will be better prepared to process and interpret information discussed in literature and in the media.

Click here and enter search term "climate" to enroll.  
Recent Headlines

"Whether or not producers believed in anthropogenic climate change, they expressed concerns related to climate changes. These concerns were generally linked to future productivity and profitability of farming. However, producers expressed greater concern over inter-annual weather variability ... Governmental regulation of agricultural practices related to climate change was also a serious concern for many producers." Journal of Extension

Grazing on federal land under threat because of drought

With persistent drought, climate change, invasive plants, and threatened species the Bureau of Land Management is warning ranchers to prepare for drastic cuts in stocking rates. 
In a challenge brought by the American Farm Bureau Federation and other industry groups, the Supreme Court limits regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. 

As the drought drags on in the southwest and Texas moves forward with a lawsuit against New Mexico over Rio Grande water, farmers face another difficult irrigation season. 

Lying beneath eight states, the Ogallala is the nation's largest freshwater aquifer and the reason why the Great Plains are the American breadbasket. Yet it is a finite source. The aquifer's southern fringe is already pumped dry.


Weather & Climate Data Tools

NOAA National Climatic Data Center - Climate at a Glance -
Using actual data collected since 1895, plot trends in temperature, precipitation, cooling and heating degree days, and various drought indices over the contiguous US, climatic regions, or individual states. This is a great tool for producing charts to use in presentations and documents.

Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) -  The "average monthly temperature and precipitation tool"
displays information on how a particular year's temperature or precipitation records compare to normal (i.e., 30-year average for the period 1971-2000). Users can view the information in a graph format by climate division for any state in the United States. A mouse-over function allows the user to view monthly values.

The 'historical climate trends tool"
displays precipitation and temperature trends for the period of the instrumental record, 1895-Present. Users can view the long term average (1971-2000), 5-year moving average, and yearly average by climate division and season for any state in the United States. - This site includes multiple sources of global land, ocean, and satellite temperature data and allows you to plot and compare average global temperature and trends over time.

U.S. Drought Portal - Access and interact with drought and climate related data, including maps and graphing capabilities, to help understand drought and how it changes over time.  
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory - Here is direct link to daily CO2 data being recorded at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. This is the source for CO2 as reported in the media. Scientists have continually measured CO2 at this location since 1959.
About the Animal Agriculture & Climate Change Project


This mission of this project is to develop national Extension capacity to address issues related to animal agriculture and climate change. Our goal is to provide education and build partnerships that foster animal production practices that are environmentally sound, climatically compatible, and economically viable.  


This project is supported by Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2011-67003-30206 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

Know of anyone who should receive this email? Please contact:
David W. Smith 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering 
College Station, Texas 77843-2121 
(979) 862-1989