Hadfield, J.A.1; Dallin, J.2; Hadfield, J.L.3; Perkins, D.4
1Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84321
2Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University, Brigham City, UT, 84302
3Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84321
4Extension Assistant, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84321


With 4,604 different livestock projects enrolled in Utah 4-H and increased urban participation and growth, it is essential that our youth and adults understand the potential risks of livestock pollution and contamination of water sources. To address this need, Utah State University Extension targeted 10 Utah counties with large amounts of youth livestock participation. In each of these counties, faculty provided waste management and water quality workshops to both youth and adults. Workshops provided education on the need for waste management, how waste run off can affect water quality, keeping animals away from clean water sources, monitoring livestock waste, composting, and how to apply these educational principles on a farm. After a formal presentation, a hands-on activity helped engage participants further. Worksheets were administered to each participant and they were invited to draw their own pastures and facilities. Participants were then asked to apply what they had learned in finding the locations on their individual farms where potential risks of contaminating water sources existed. After the workshop each participant was provided an evaluation. A total of 316 participants with 67 adults and 249 youth, participated in these workshops. It was found through these workshops that 82% of participants gained knowledge, 64% said that their views on waste management and water quality had changed, but only 33% said that they would apply the practices they learned on their private operations. While knowledge and perspectives were changed, participants indicated they were unwilling to change their current practices. A lack of understanding the importance of the issue, or participants feeling like their options are limited due to geographic factors could be some of the reasons behind the unwillingness to act. The completion of this program helped us see that both youth and adults were lacking in basic knowledge regarding waste management and water quality. Although we achieved our goal of increasing knowledge, further investigation into tools and programs to help participants feel empowered to make positive changes may be necessary.

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