A proper waste management plan and waste application system are vital parts of a modern confined animal operation. If waste from animal operations is not properly managed, it can have many negative impacts on the overall farming operation as well as the community. The negative consequences of a poorly managed waste application system can cost in terms of dollars, loss of land values, impaired environmental quality, and loss of good standing in the community.

The North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 1995 and 1996 requiring certification of operators of animal waste management systems. The law requires a certified operator for animal waste management systems that serve over 250 swine, 100 confined cattle, 75 horses, 1000 sheep, or 30,000 poultry with a liquid animal waste management system. To become a certified operator, one must complete an approved training course on the operation of animal waste management systems, pass an appropriate examination, and pay the required fees. This training program is designed to provide operators of animal waste management systems the basic understanding needed to operate and maintain these systems in an efficient and environmentally sound manner. This training program is not intended to provide all of the technical details for the complete design of a waste management system or an approved animal waste management plan. There are many good reference materials that have been published on these subjects that can provide more detailed information if desired.


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