John Mabry, Faculty, Animal Science
Because of our experience and familiarity with statewide programming efforts, IPIC was asked by Iowa Pork Producers Association in late February to develop and present an educational/informational program for pork producers about the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality consent agreement. Timeliness was imperative because the sign-up deadline was originally set for May 1. (That deadline was eventually extended three times, to Aug. 12, 2005.)
To offer a program featuring current information on the air quality consent agreement, including background, options, opportunities and potential concerns for pork producers. This program should be provided through the most advantageous venue(s) in order to be accessed by as many producers as possible.
The three-hour program was broadcast live via satellite and Webcast through the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension studio, and remains available as an archived Webcast presentation on the ISU Extension Webcast Web site. Appropriate speakers were determined and invited, through collaboration with IPPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Presenter names and topics were: Wendy Powers, history of the agreement; Eldon McAfee, background on the agreement and producer options and responsibilities; Max Schmidt, producer viewpoint; Steve Hoff, current odor research information and results. Handout material was provided on the IPIC Web site prior to the program, along with links to known site host counties in Iowa. Publicity and promotion of the program led to inquiries from and subsequent promotion by other Iowa-based commodity and producer groups, as well as the University of Kentucky.
At least 31 Iowa county ISU Extension offices hosted the program, with more than 250 people attending. The University of Kentucky also aired the broadcast and purchased a videotape of the program. Based on surveys completed at the conclusion of the live program, attendees were appreciative of the opportunity to learn more about this program, but continued to be unsure as to the best course of action. Out of 172 surveys, 146 respondents identified themselves as pork producers. This showed that we were able to reach our primary targeted audience. When asked how helpful they considered each of the four speaker presentations, the average response (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “not at all helpful” and 5 being “very helpful”) ranged from 3.27 to 4.01. The archived Webcast program continues to draw interest. ISU Extension Web statistics for June showed that viewers were referred to that page by several other sites, including IPIC, Iowa Pork Producers Association, and the portion of the University of Kentucky’s Web site focused on the EPA Environmental Consent Agreement program.
108 -- Iowa Pork Industry Center
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July 9, 2006
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