Teaching Extension Agents about Climate Change Impacts on Livestock

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Pamela N. Knox, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA; and D. Schmidt, C. Powers, D. Smith, E. Whitefield, and J. Pronto

Handout (2.1 MB)

Extension agents in the United States often serve as a primary unbiased source for information on scientific topics to their clients. However, many of them are not well equipped to answer questions about changing climate and its impacts on livestock health and production. A new national online course has been developed to provide Extension agents with a thorough understanding of the basics of climate variability and change in the US as well as its impacts on various species of livestock. The course begins with a module describing climate trends across the United States. Other modules describe impacts of observed changes on different livestock species. An extended module on climate science and climate modeling is also included. Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change is also discussed in terms of farm management approaches for each species. Material from the class has also been presented at Extension-sponsored regional and national meetings across the United States. The online course has been reviewed by content experts and Extension educators and is now available for use. An outline of the course material, examples of information included, and early reviews of the course will be provided.