2015 Manure Expo to Receive Governor's Award For Environmental Excellence

Posted: March 23, 2016

The Manure Expo, co-chaired by Senior Extension Specialist Robb Meinen and Franklin County's Jennifer Bratthauar, will be recognized for its environmental innovation.

The 2015 North American Manure Expo is being recognized with the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, Pennsylvania's "highest honor bestowed upon business or organizations for environmental performance and innovation."  Held in Franklin County in July, 2015, the Expo drew a record 2,000 attendees from 23 states and four Canadian provinces.

Organized by the Department of Animal Science at Penn State and the Franklin County Conservation District, the Expo was held over three days and focused on manure handling and application through tours, demonstrations and educational sessions.

Robb Meinen, Penn State Senior Extension Specialist, and Jennifer Bratthauar, Ag Conservation Technician and Nutrient Management Specialist for the Conservation District, co-chaired the Expo and will accept the award at the April 19 awards dinner in Harrisburg hosted by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "This award is a wonderful tribute to the hard work that Robb and Jennifer put into organizing the Expo.  It also is a wonderful recognition of the enormous impact the Expo has on improving both water and air quality.  We are very proud of these efforts and grateful for this honor."

The largest group of attendees was professional manure handlers. Dairy, livestock and poultry producers also attended as well as nutrient management plan writers, agency and extension personnel.

Meinen said, "This is quite an honorable recognition for the countless people and organizations that contributed to Manure Expo. Our environmental benefits are real. Professionals were exposed to information and equipment that allow simultaneous and practical progression of animal agriculture, crop production and environment stewardship. From beginning to end, that was our overarching goal.

"The attendees have enormous influence with environmental advancement across this region and all of North America. We offered programming for everyone, from a young professional driver of manure equipment to policy makers in Washington D.C."

Tours and demonstrations allowed attendees a chance to view the latest technology in action. Over 50 educational seminars offered something for everyone.

Vendors are attracted to the Expo because of the large number of commercial manure applicators who attend, providing an opportunity to demonstrate the latest technology to a very specialized audience. Meinen notes, "Manure Expo is helping to drive technology advancements in precision manure nutrient utilization. When commercial operators adopt these practices the impact is realized on the many farms and large acreages that they service."

Awarded each year by DEP, these awards highlight the best in environmental innovation and expertise throughout the Commonwealth. Each year the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence are the highest statewide honor bestowed to businesses and organizations involved in a cross-section of environmental initiatives from cleaning up watersheds, saving energy, eliminating pollution, reducing waste, and more.

The awards program is open to all Pennsylvania businesses, farms, government agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and individuals who have created or participated in the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development in the state.

Projects are selected based on eight criteria: protection, partnership, public service, environmental education and outreach, pollution prevention, economic impact, innovative technology, and climate change.

      The Expo was held over three days, and featured tours, demonstrations and educational sessions, all focused on manure handling and application. The 2016 Manure Expo will be hosted in London, Ohio.