PUYALLUP, Wash. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded WSU and five partnering land grant universities $4.1 million for a five-year project to address issues associated with climate change and animal agriculture. The funding comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) via its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program. 
 
The project will be facilitated by WSU Extension through the Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center (http://www.extension.org/animal_manure_management).
 
The overall goal of the proposed project is that WSU Extension, working with partner organizations, will inform and influence livestock and poultry producers and consumers of animal products in all regions of the U.S. to move animal production toward practices that are environmentally sound, climatically compatible and economically viable. 
 
A primary desired outcome is that stakeholder decisions result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing America’s capacity to produce meat, milk, eggs and other animal products.
 
The project will be managed by five regional teams. Joe Harrison and Liz Whitefield are the contacts for the western region, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.
 
Those interested in being a partner of the working group in the western region may contact Liz Whitefield, e.whitefield@wsu.edu.
 
A wide range of beliefs exists about climate change, and there are strong and varied reactions to proposals for countering global warming. This creates challenges for those involved in (agricultural) policy making, product marketing and research. 
 
Livestock and poultry producers must prepare to adapt and respond to conditions that might be imposed on them – whether due to the impacts of more extreme weather patterns and other potential climate trends or to prospective policies that may place attention on the greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.
 
Extension serves a key role in facilitating and informing discussions about climate change relative to animal agriculture.
 
Project objectives are to:
* Equip extension personnel and stakeholder representatives to assess stakeholder needs relative to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to deliver educational programs that target those needs;
* Provide on-demand Web access to science based information, educational resources and decision support tools to stakeholder groups and the public on climate change related to animal agriculture
* Coordinate efforts so information and resources are utilized optimally at the state, regional and national levels.
 
Other land grant universities involved in the project are the University of Nebraska, Texas A &M University, University of Georgia, Cornell University and University of Minnesota.