CSREES includes federal portion of the research, education, and extension portfolios associated with State land grant Universities and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Economics Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These groups provide federal leadership in creating and disseminating knowledge spanning the biological, physical, and social sciences related to agricultural research, economic analysis, statistics, extension, and higher education. In terms of environmental assessments on farming operations, local specialists in the form of county agents and University faculty can often provide state specific information and have key relationships with the agricultural community. Most states have specialists in the area of animal production and manure management that can assist farmers with making improvements on their operations. In addition, several national programs have been developed and are implemented on a State level.
- Farm*A*Syst is a partnership between government agencies and private business that enables farmers to conduct self assessments to prevent pollution on farms, ranches, and in homes using confidential environmental risk assessments. The program addresses a range of issues such as quality of well water, new wells and abandoned wells, livestock waste storage, storage and handling of petroleum products, managing hazardous wastes, and nutrient management. Often, it is implemented with assistance and technical advice from local government agencies or businesses. Since 1991, thousands of farmers and ranchers throughout the country have used Farm*A*Syst and the program has been recognized nationally and internationally for its common-sense approach to managing environmental risks. The national website offers links to all state resources and supplies other information on conducting environmental self assessments.
- Ag EMS offers information on development of Environmental Management Systems for farmers. This includes links to assessment tools as well as many other sites with EMS resources that could be applied to farms. It also has links to a National project that looked at livestock EMS’s in particular and conducted pilot testing in 10 states.
- Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship (LPES) Curriculum: The educational materials developed for the LPES Curriculum, a nationally developed and regionally piloted core curriculum, include 26 lessons grouped into six modules; environmental stewardship and/or regulatory compliance assessment tools for most lessons; and PowerPoint presentations for each lesson. The curriculum is available as a Searchable CD, in a bound notebook or as a 2-CD set of PageMaker files including all graphics. Individual lessons are available on the website or can be purchased in bulk for classroom and educational uses. This material is based upon work supported by the CSREES; the EPA; National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center; and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. The materials were developed and tested by a national team of scientists and extension faculty.
- Center for Agricultural Air Quality Engineering and Science, contains numerous resources and technical information on agricultural air quality.
- National Water Quality Program, This link provides information on projects being conducted throughout the United States. This includes a national theme in animal waste management as well as links to several regional teams that work on these issues. The national facilitation projects on pollution prevention and assessment and best education practices also contain useful information on environmental assessment.
- National Animal Waste Management Center, Located at North Carolina State University the National Center efforts emphasize the development and dissemination of knowledge and technology that support sustainable, profitable and internationally competitive animal production and also protect community interests and environmental quality. Their products include numerous white papers outlining the current State of knowledge, policy suggestions and analysis, and funded research projects. The Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center link also includes information on the Smithfield Agreement that searched for Environmentally Superior Technologies for animal waste management.