OSU Extension offers livestock mortality composting certification course
By Tracy Turner
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Livestock producers looking to learn ways to deal with animal mortality can earn livestock mortality composting certification in a course offered by an Ohio State University Extension educator.
Livestock mortality happens on all livestock farms at some point in time for a variety of reasons, including natural disasters, disease and birthing problems, said Chris Bruynis, an agriculture and natural resources educator for OSU Extension.
There are four approved methods in Ohio for disposing of dead livestock: composting, incineration, burial and rendering. Of them, Bruynis said composting is the most economical and is approved for all livestock species in Ohio.
“It’s a fact of life, animals die just as people do,” he said. “At some point in time any livestock producer will have to deal with it. Certification is required if producers want to use composting as a method to deal with mortality.”
The course will be July 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Room D at the Ross County Service Center, 475 Western Ave., Chillicothe. Participants in the three-hour course will receive a workbook, learn the requirements to compost in Ohio and be certified to use composting as a method of livestock disposal.
“There aren’t any rendering facilities left locally that accept livestock off the farm, and finding a place to incinerate livestock is difficult and costly,” Bruynis said. “While burial is a viable option, Ohio Revised Code requires not less than 4 feet of soil above the animal, which can be a challenge with frozen or muddy soil conditions.
“So composting is really the easiest and most economical way to handle livestock mortality, and the leftover compost can be used to add nutrients to the soil or combined with fresh sawdust to be used again as another compost source.”
Pre-registration for the course is requested and can be made by calling the Ross County OSU Extension office at 740-702-3200 by July 6 to ensure adequate workbooks. A certification course fee of $15 will be collected at the door.