Dairy and environment online course development

PI: Rebecca Larson


Larson is an associate professor of biological systems engineering and extension specialist at UW–Madison. Her research and extension interests include all areas of biological waste including manure management, handling and treatment of agricultural waste, diffuse source pollution, agricultural sustainability, and waste-to-energy technologies including biogas production from anaerobic digestion.

A significant amount of research-based information concerning dairy environmental sustainability has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This information can guide stakeholders on developing pathways that can improve environmental impacts while maintaining dairy farm profitability. Unfortunately, this information is not reaching stakeholders. This project aims to develop this information into online courses that can serve as a resource for farmers, dairy professionals, and interested citizens. These courses will provide information on design, practices, and environmental impacts of dairy farms. There will be seven courses; one course on broad environmental challenges faced by dairy farmers, three basic courses on different management systems, and three courses focusing on manure management. Horacio Aguirre-Villegas is collaborating on this research. This project aligns to Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #11 (‘education programming for non-farm audiences’).