In cooperation with the Waste Solutions Forum and other sponsors, Virginia Cooperative Extension has planned an Innovative Environmental Technologies Symposium for Thursday, Feb. 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, Va.

“The symposium will address nutrient reduction and renewable energy technologies that are relevant to dairy and poultry industries and wastewater treatment facilities,” said Eric Bendfeldt, area community viability specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Northwest District. “Additionally, the symposium will highlight environmentally sustainable practices that can help to preserve farmland and open space; provide new revenue sources to farmers; and support community values, standards, and expectations.”

In addition to a panel discussion with area farmers, there will be speakers and exhibits on a variety of environmental technology topics:

Nathan DeBoom, a consultant with AgConcepts, will give a presentation on “Dairy and the Environment: 2010.”

Dennis Haubenschild, owner and farmer of Haubenschild Farms, will discuss “Producing Many Deliverables in an Environmentally Safe Manner” and also provide a dairy session called “Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrient Management: Are You on The Right Track?”

Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental and corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods, will share details about “Current and Emerging Nutrient Solutions for Agriculture.”

Bob Monley, general manager for Farm Pilot Project Coordination, will deliver the keynote address.

Dick Waybright, owner and farmer of Mason Dixon Farms, will explain “The Role of Innovation on the Dairy Farm.”

Foster Agblevor, associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, will describe his research on “The Conversion of Poultry Litter to Value-added Resources by Pyrolysis.”

Stephen McCorkle, CEO of Agricultural Waste Solutions, will present a session on “Innovations in Drying and Gasification.”

Bert Bock, CEO of B.R. Bock Consulting, Inc., will give a presentation on “Combustion Technologies: Scale and End Products.”

John Bombardiere, of EnviroControl Limited, will provide information about “Thermophilic Anaerobic Digestion of Poultry Litter.”

Gary Wegner, owner and farmer of Circul8 Systems, will share his experiences in a dairy-related session about “How to Get Maximum Benefit Out Of Your Nutrients.”

A poster session and trade exhibit will run concurrent to the formal presentations, and lunch will be provided. In lieu of a registration fee, participants are encouraged to bring canned food donations for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. The deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 16. To register call Bendfeldt at (540) 432-6029.

The event is sponsored by Virginia Tech; Virginia Cooperative Extension; Waste Solutions Forum; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Center for Conservation Incentives at Environmental Defense; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Old Dominion Electric Cooperative; Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy; Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation; Shenandoah Resource Conservation Development Council; Virginia Poultry Federation; Virginia State Dairymen’s Association; and other key partners and agencies.

Directions to Rockingham County Fairgrounds: Take I-81 to Exit 243, and then take a left at the light onto South Valley Pike. Follow Valley Pike for approximately two miles south. The fairgrounds are on the right.

For more information, contact Eric Bendfeldt at (540) 432-6029 or Kathy Holm at (540) 248-3321.

About Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

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