Manure management program recertification training under way
NEWBERRY – Now is the time for operators of South Carolina animal facilities certified in the Clemson Confined Animal Manure Managers (CAMM) Program to become recertified.
The CAMM Program was developed after a new law, which requires operators of animal facilities or manure utilization areas to become certified in an animal manure management program developed at Clemson, went in to effect in 1998. John Chastain, a Clemson professor in the agriculture and environmental sciences department who specializes in agricultural waste management, is one of several instructors who are teaching classes during this recertification period.
“The classes are designed to help operators meet the 10 hours of continuing education credits that are required every five years,” Chastain said.
Randall Maffett is one producer who attended a recertification training class in Newberry. He said producers greatly benefit from the knowledge gained by attending the classes.
“The class locations are so very well-designed that it makes it easy for producers from all over the state to be able to attend and comply with the continuing education requirements,” said Maffett, who owns six chicken houses in Saluda.
Phillip Clary, also a chicken producer from Saluda, said the classes are very educational and are beneficial in helping keep producers on the right track.
“These sessions help me understand what I have to do to comply with state laws,” Clary said. “I want to do what I have to in order for my operation to comply with DHEC regulations.”
Todd Banks, who was licensed two years ago, has six chicken houses in Ridge Spring. He plans to build four more in April.
“I believe a person needs to keep up with whatever is going on in their area,” Banks said. “These classes help me keep up with what’s new so that I can stay within regulation. It would be great if everybody did this.”
The CAMM program team consists of agents and specialists with Clemson University, the Clemson Extension Service, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Certification trainings and Continuing Education trainings are scheduled throughout South Carolina from now until April 19. For a full list of training opportunities and costs, visit http://www.clemson.edu/extension/livestock/camm/dates.html.
Steps are being taken to make the training sessions more convenient. Bryan Smith, a Clemson Extension agent in Laurens who also is the CAMM program chairman, said a website for online recertification training is being created.
“Once completed, the website will provide recertification presentations growers can use to obtain up to four hours of recertification credit,” Smith said. “Utilization of this online option is strictly voluntary. We will still offer local recertification trainings growers may attend if they desire.”
The online recertification website is expected to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.