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Waste Management Optimization in Dairy OperationsEPA Grant Number: U915971
Title: Waste Management Optimization in Dairy Operations
Investigators: Martinez, Jonathan C.
Institution: New Mexico State University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Graham, Karen
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2002
Project Amount: $49,456
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering
The objective of this research project is the remediation of diary land. The idea for this topic stems from my personal background of growing up on a ranch and raising cattle myself. Although my experience with cattle has not been in the diary industry rather in the beef industry and is on the smaller scale of ranches, the concern for groundwater contamination still exists. Even more alarming, data shows that in New Mexico, from 1982 to 1992, livestock numbers have increased approximately 62 percent in the dairy industry. In Las Cruces, there are over 20,000 dairy livestock. From this information, it becomes apparent that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are an environmental issue. Specific concerns lie within the bounds of leachate reaching groundwater aquifers. Water is a precious resource and the facts show that it is very much a limited resource; therefore, "Waste Management Optimization in Dairy Operations" is critical and requires immediate attention.
Farmers, obviously, are the main impact on the environment in this situation but do they realize that final impact is on human life? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency involvement with this issue arises when considering the standards set by Clean Water Act and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits.
My main concern is to aid in making a positive impact on the environment. Through the techniques and technology presented in my course work and in past work experience, I can conquer dilemmas in my thesis research and in my professional engineering career.