CLMT completes successful year
A University of Illinois Extension team has successfully completed the 2019-2020 Certified Livestock Manager Training (CLMT) workshops. Neslihan Akdeniz, a clinical assistant professor in ABE, manages the extension program with Jay Solomon, an extension educator and a member of the Energy and Environmental Stewardship team. Yijie Xiong, an ABE postdoc research associate, and Rosario Johnstone, with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), round out the CLMT team.
For each workshop, Akdeniz spoke on safety and discussed best management practices as well as Illinois CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) rules. Solomon and Xiong discussed nutrient management planning, and Johnstone presented information on the regulations established by the Livestock Management Facilities Act. The LMFA, adopted in 1996, requires facilities with 300 or more animal units to have at least one employee certified in proper manure handling procedures.
A new component added this year was a presentation by Jennifer Woodyard and Hayley Haverback, two U of I extension watershed outreach associates. They spoke about updates in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
Douglas Owens, Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Environmental Programs in the IDOA, says, “The goal of the program is to provide our livestock managers with the tools they need to be successful producers, good neighbors, and stewards of the land. We at the IDOA have always valued our partnership with the University of Illinois in providing this valuable training.”
The workshops train approximately 1,000 producers in three-year cycles. Producers are required to renew their certificates every three years, and Akdeniz says this year they trained 197 people in their workshops and 37 people completed training online (https://go.illinois.edu/CLMT).
“Next year will be our big year,” says Akdeniz. “It will be the first year of the three-year cycle and we are expecting approximately 500 participants.
“The impact of the program has been significant, “Akdeniz continues. “When the program first started, only a small portion of the livestock producers were aware of the importance of having a nutrient management plan (NMP). Currently, a majority of the producers (81 percent) have an NMP, and 43 percent of the producers update their plans regularly. While 32 percent of the producers are using their plans to meet the regulations, 29 percent of them use them to better utilize manure nutrients as fertilizer.”
The year 2021 will mark the 25th anniversary of the CLMT program. “We have provided 25 years of continuous service to the Illinois community,” says Akdeniz, “and we are looking forward to celebrating that service and improving on it in the years to come.”
Pictured, left to right, are Yijie Xiong, Neslihan Akdeniz, Jay Solomon, and Rosario Johnstone.
The official Twitter account of the program is https://twitter.com/uilfmm.