The 2015 North American Manure Expo will be honored with the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence on April 19 in Harrisburg.

Co-hosted by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the three-day expo was held last July in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in Franklin County.

The expo, which was organized by Penn State’s Department of Animal Science and the Franklin County Conservation District, held 2,000 attendees and included trade shows, manure technology demonstrations and educational events, according to the North American Manure Expo website.

Starting in 2001, the manure expo is hosted in different states each year and aims to teach people how they can improve water quality through cutting-edge technology and educational sessions.

Robb Meinen, Penn State senior extension associate, and Jennifer Bratthauar, agricultural conservation technician and nutrient management specialists for the Conservation District, both co-chaired the expo and will be accepting the governor’s award next week.

The award honors the best business or organization that helps promote environmental performance and innovation and is presented each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, according to the manure expo website.

“[The award] recognizes people that have established or committed to the environment or teach about the environment, and the expo did both,” Meinen said.

At the expo, farmers, industry workers and researchers were able to get together and be taught new innovative practices with manure while remaining environmentally friendly, Rachel Milliron (graduate–plant science) said.

Milliron was one of many speakers at the expo. She, as well as others, presented ideas about how manure can lead to pollution and the ways that people can reduce that, Milliron said.

“We want to make sure that we’re able to do outreach so that what we’re doing in research can be applied in the real world and the manure expo gave us that outlet,” Milliron said.

Finding ways on how to inject manure in the land by using tools such as a shallow disk injector while still remaining cost efficient, was one of the many topics that speakers focused on at the event, Milliron said.

“Other topics included how to maximize crop production with minimal environmental impact,” Meinen said. By using the nutrients from manure and having them be recycled in crop production, farmers can increase their production while still remaining environmentally friendly, he said.

“The event had a strong focus on education and spoke about utilizing manure efficiently,” Bratthauar said.

Through education components, manure calibration exercises – exercises that determine how much manure farmers are putting on the field – the expo taught people to think more and how to better apply their manure applications and also get people thinking about things they would have never thought of before, Bratthauar said.

The manure expo will be held this year in July in London, Ohio.

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