Environmental Stewardship:Defining Your Ethic in a Policy Statement<br />Thomas Bass, Montana State University<br />Jill H...
Environmental Concerns:Social Climate<br />Public has increased concern for environmental issues<br />Public also has lack...
Environmental Concerns<br />Primarily non-point source (NPS) water pollution<br />Collective run-off from an area (picture...
Existing Regulations<br />Primarily water quality driven<br />Clean Water Act (CWA: USEPA, 1972, ‘77 & ’87)<br />State rul...
Animal Feeding Operations<br />Most detailed rules apply to Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs & CAFOs)<br />Permitting: fede...
Pasture, Crop Land, Managed Forests & Orchards<br />Little specific regulation exists<br />Poor management could attract u...
Fuel Storage<br />US EPA – new rules in effect Nov. 2010<br />Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure Plan(SPCC)<br />a...
Other Environmental Issues<br />Air Quality: interrelated issues<br />chemical compounds<br />odor & dust <br />Noxious We...
Overwhelmed? <br />Help is available….<br />Extension<br />Young Farmer/Rancher Advisors<br />USDA-NRCS<br />Conservation ...
Educate Yourself<br />Publications from land-grant universities, agencies, associations and NGOs<br />Valid online resourc...
Overwhelmed?Create Your Own Environmental Plan<br />Be proactive, make your own decisions for good management<br />Declare...
What is important to you and your community?<br />Are there environmental issues in your community, state or region for wh...
What is important to you and your community?<br />List examples of resources that need protection and how farms may be con...
BREAK FOR DISCUSSION<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
Planning Starts with a FarmEnvironmental Policy Statement<br />A policy statement briefly describes your operation and inc...
Environmental Policy as a Communication Tool<br />Help guide your business decisions, but also:<br />Share with buyers/mar...
Environmental Policy Statements<br />Description: your farm, business and family goals<br />Environmental issues: relevant...
Environmental Policy Statements<br />Stewardship: specific resource and environmental goals important to your operation <b...
Note: tips for statements<br />Statement should not be generic<br />DO NOT use finite wording: use “reduce” or “limit” ins...
BREAK FOR EXERCISE(examples & worksheets)<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
Communicating Ag Advocacy<br />If you have a web presence, use your policy statement online<br />Post on your farm website...
Becoming a Leader<br />Agriculture can be profitable;<br />environmental issues should not scare anyone from the business!...
Conclusion and Questions<br />Thank you for your time and your commitment to environmental stewardship! <br />Building Env...
Contact Information<br />Jill Heemstra: <br />jheemstra@unl.edu<br />Tommy Bass: <br />tmbass@montana.edu<br />Building En...
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Environmental Stewardship: Defining Your Ethic in a Policy Statement

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An environmental policy statement (EPS) is a proactive way to communicate about a farm’s environmental stewardship ethic. At first glance, this might seem like a “feel good” exercise with very little practical value. However, experience has shown that farmers and ranchers are quick to identify ways they can use the policy statement for their operation. The exercise stimulates conversations that many farm operators have not previously initiated with family or employees. In addition to providing a starting point for environmental planning, it is an excellent activity to include in business management programs and curriculum.

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Environmental Stewardship: Defining Your Ethic in a Policy Statement

  1. 1. Environmental Stewardship:Defining Your Ethic in a Policy Statement<br />Thomas Bass, Montana State University<br />Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska - Lincoln<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  2. 2. Environmental Concerns:Social Climate<br />Public has increased concern for environmental issues<br />Public also has lack of food, fiber and natural resource literacy<br />Neighbor Relations & Complicating Factors<br />urban encroachment<br />non-ag rural neighbors<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  3. 3. Environmental Concerns<br />Primarily non-point source (NPS) water pollution<br />Collective run-off from an area (picture depicts sediment from a large construction site) <br />Ag NPS could be from animal confinement & manure storage; chemical/fuel storage; fields; farm roads…<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  4. 4. Existing Regulations<br />Primarily water quality driven<br />Clean Water Act (CWA: USEPA, 1972, ‘77 & ’87)<br />State rules and delegated authority<br />State enforces on behalf of federal government<br />Local ordinances<br />zoning, setbacks, air quality, other…<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  5. 5. Animal Feeding Operations<br />Most detailed rules apply to Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs & CAFOs)<br />Permitting: federal and/or state level<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  6. 6. Pasture, Crop Land, Managed Forests & Orchards<br />Little specific regulation exists<br />Poor management could attract unwanted attention<br />Clean Water Act can still apply<br />Opportunity for voluntary conservation!<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  7. 7. Fuel Storage<br />US EPA – new rules in effect Nov. 2010<br />Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure Plan(SPCC)<br />above-ground fuel storage capacity exceeding 1,320 gallons<br />42,000 gallons (capacity)of buried containers<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  8. 8. Other Environmental Issues<br />Air Quality: interrelated issues<br />chemical compounds<br />odor & dust <br />Noxious Weeds<br />Wildlife/habitat<br />Others?<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  9. 9. Overwhelmed? <br />Help is available….<br />Extension<br />Young Farmer/Rancher Advisors<br />USDA-NRCS<br />Conservation Districts<br />Fellow Producers<br />Consultants<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  10. 10. Educate Yourself<br />Publications from land-grant universities, agencies, associations and NGOs<br />Valid online resources!<br />Local, state & national events or conferences<br />Farmer-to-Farmer, mentors, colleagues, peers<br />In-person (local connections)<br />Industry groups, commodity groups<br />Online; social media<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  11. 11. Overwhelmed?Create Your Own Environmental Plan<br />Be proactive, make your own decisions for good management<br />Declare and document the good practices you already do<br />Plan for future conservation practices<br />COMMUNICATE about your stewardship!<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  12. 12. What is important to you and your community?<br />Are there environmental issues in your community, state or region for which farms or ranches are generally viewed in a negative way? <br />Are there environmental issues in your community, state or region for which farms and ranches are generally viewed in a positive way?<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  13. 13. What is important to you and your community?<br />List examples of resources that need protection and how farms may be connected to them? <br />What issues do you see as being especially important 5 years from now? Further into the future?<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  14. 14. BREAK FOR DISCUSSION<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  15. 15. Planning Starts with a FarmEnvironmental Policy Statement<br />A policy statement briefly describes your operation and includes commitments to:<br />Environmental stewardship<br />Continual improvement<br />Compliance with all pertinent laws and regulations<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  16. 16. Environmental Policy as a Communication Tool<br />Help guide your business decisions, but also:<br />Share with buyers/markets<br />Share with lenders/insurers<br />Share with neighbors<br />Use for emergency communication after an accident or natural disaster<br />Share in first stages of a regulatory inquiry<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  17. 17. Environmental Policy Statements<br />Description: your farm, business and family goals<br />Environmental issues: relevant to your location, watershed or community<br />Compliance: commitment to comply with applicable rules<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  18. 18. Environmental Policy Statements<br />Stewardship: specific resource and environmental goals important to your operation <br />Continuous Improvement: commitment to evaluate yourself and improve continuously as your operation grows<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  19. 19. Note: tips for statements<br />Statement should not be generic<br />DO NOT use finite wording: use “reduce” or “limit” instead of “eliminate”<br />DO NOT use time references: “will continually improve or stewardship” instead of “will accomplish in 5 years”<br />Examples in packet are for guidance… <br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  20. 20. BREAK FOR EXERCISE(examples & worksheets)<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  21. 21. Communicating Ag Advocacy<br />If you have a web presence, use your policy statement online<br />Post on your farm website<br />Advocate Ag in your social networking<br />Write about your stewardship in blogs<br />Share your stewardship on emerging social/online networking<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  22. 22. Becoming a Leader<br />Agriculture can be profitable;<br />environmental issues should not scare anyone from the business!<br />You can develop and protect natural resources while providing food, fiber and other services to the world.<br />You must become your own advocate!<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  23. 23. Conclusion and Questions<br />Thank you for your time and your commitment to environmental stewardship! <br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
  24. 24. Contact Information<br />Jill Heemstra: <br />jheemstra@unl.edu<br />Tommy Bass: <br />tmbass@montana.edu<br />Building Environmental Leaders in Animal Agriculture (BELAA)<br />
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