Training for technical service providers (TSP) is once more being offered through the University of Illinois Extension and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE). The online resource is being offered beginning September 11, 2012, and will provide the information necessary to prepare a comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP).
Laura Pepple, a livestock extension specialist in the department of ABE, said, "The CNMP Development Course includes a 5-week online webinar series that covers the fundamentals of CNMP development. A new webinar will be released each Tuesday, beginning on September 11 and running through October 9. The webinars will be pre-recorded and available for participants to watch each week at their convenience."
The topics discussed during the webinars will be conservation planning (Week 1); land treatment practices and erosion control (Week 2); manure waste storage and handling (Week 3); nutrient management (Week 4); and feed management, record keeping, and regulations (Week 5). For participants interested in receiving TSP certification, attendance at two field days is also required.
The two-day, hands-on field experience will be held on October 18-19 and will include development processes that cannot be taught during the webinar series, such as RUSLE2, site evaluation, equipment calibration and drafting a sample CNMP.
Pepple said the course is a "one and done" opportunity for participants, because completion of the course fulfills the TSP CNMP certification requirement for "a training course that meets all of the general requirements for all CNMP certified specialist categories, as well as the specific requirements for each element and is an equivalent NRCS-approved Conservation Planning Training."
The certification process includes completing other NRCS-specified educational programming and passing an examination for each individual CNMP element area. The course is approved for any TSP nationwide who is pursuing certification. In addition, Pepple has applied to the International CCA Board to receive international certified crop advisors continuing education units (CEUs) for the course.
Registration for the course must be completed by September 1. The registration fee for the webinars only is $375. The fee for the webinars and field days is $750, and includes all course material, break refreshments and lunch on the field days.