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Western Region
July 11, 2014
Upcoming LPELC Webinars

The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center


Waste to Worth 2015 Conference:

Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture


Find more info, register and submit an abstract at:



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Welcome to the Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate Western Region e-newsletter containing current news and relevant information regarding agriculture and climate change that you might have missed.


Be sure to visit www.animalagclimatechange.org for new information and resources including current videos, fact sheets and new blog posts from our friends in the Midwest and Southeast.


If you haven't done so already... register for a fall session of the free Animal Agriculture and Climate Change online course! Scroll to the bottom of the page or visit the website to find more information.

Mark Your Calendars! Waste to Worth 2015: Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture
You are invited to attend the International Conference on Livestock & Poultry Environmental Quality at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle, WA from March 30 - April 3, 2015. 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 find out more, register for the conference, submit an abstract, become a vendor or sponsor, and make hotel reservations visit www.wastetoworth.org

Can We Grow More Food on Less Land? 
Sustainable Intensification Needs to Continue for Trend to Last (The Breakthrough) This article discusses past, current and predicted ag land usage globally. It also breaks the US out from the global noise to provide some insight into national numbers. The author is promoting "sustainable intensification", growing more food on previously existing farm land by working on improving areas like soil health and water use that would produce better environmental outcomes. These issues of growing more with less pops up often when discussing agriculture's relationship with climate change because of numerous reasons, one of which that if climate change has a severe impact to other countries, the US will have an even larger responsibility to 'feed the world'. This seems like realistic discussion and approach to present day farming in the US, as well as planning for the future. We have available modern technologies and conservation practices that can be implemented together for solutions in a changing environment.

Improving Soil Carbon Calculations
A potential source of error in calculating soil carbon budgets has been identified by scientists at the USDA. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist Hero Gollany has used these findings to refine methods for assessing farming practices that retain carbon in the soil and thus mitigate carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and these findings support the USDA priority of responding to climate change. Rates of soil carbon retention, known as sequestration, are often measured and estimated by tracking changes in total soil carbon over time. Carbon from crop residues or other decaying plant material is present in soil samples collected for these sequestration studies. But this "accrued" carbon is not actually sequestered in the soil until after the carbon becomes attached to soil mineral particles, a process that can take several decades.
The Depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and the Effects on a Region that Helps Feed the World

The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis (NBC News)

The scope of this mounting crisis is difficult to overstate: The High Plains of Texas are swiftly running out of groundwater supplied by one of the world's largest aquifers - the Ogallala. A study by Texas Tech University has predicted that if groundwater production goes unabated, vast portions of several counties in the southern High Plains will soon have little water left in the aquifer to be of any practical value. The Ogallala Aquifer spreads across eight states, from Texas to South Dakota, covering 111.8 million acres and 175,000 square miles. It's the fountain of life not only for much of the Texas Panhandle, but also for the entire American Breadbasket of the Great Plains, a highly-sophisticated, amazingly-productive agricultural region that literally helps feed the world. 

International Policy: Climate Cooperation with China
The United States and China on Tuesday signed eight partnership agreements to cut greenhouse gases, bringing the world's two biggest carbon emitters closer together on climate policy. The agreements, which involve companies and research institutions, were signed in Beijing ahead of a two-day visit to China by top Obama administration officials.
Animal Agriculture and Climate Change Online Course
Want to learn more about climate science, greenhouse gases, mitigation strategies, carbon markets, and communication strategies to talk about this controversial 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 new September session!
Know of anyone who should receive this email? Please contact:

Liz Whitefield
Washington State University
Livestock Nutrient Management Program