The Future of What’s Left Behind

Posted: August 3, 2015

Pennsylvania hosts 2015 North American Manure Expo
Manure Expo welcome sign

Manure Expo welcome sign

The smell of manure, the rumbling of interstate traffic, and the cut straw field lined with rows upon rows of shiny farm equipment. These were some of the first sights and smells upon entering the 2015 North American Manure Expo. 

On July 14th and 15th, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania hosted this year’s North American Manure Expo. The turnout was incredible; the grounds were flocked with producers, custom manure applicators, as well as researchers, consultants and government agencies. All these folks were there to get the scoop on poop!

The Manure Expo, which launched in 2001, is an annual traveling attraction which brings together an industry trade show, manure technology demonstrations, and educational opportunities.

“The success of the Manure Expo weighs on more than the manure,” Penn State Extension’s Robb Meinen, Co-Chair of this year’s Expo, said with a smile. “We rely on quality educators and exhibitor support to ensure each year is better than the last.”

Meinen estimates over 2,000 attended this year’s Expo. Farm tours offered on July 14 included participants from 23 different states. Many took home t-shirts featuring this year’s winning slogan, “Manure Than You Can Handle” on the front and the top ten rejected slogans the back.

In the center of the spectacle was the hardware; all the manure management equipment imaginable - even a state-of-the-art manure injector all the way from Germany. Large tents dotted the perimeter where attendees heard from experts on the economics, safety, best management practices and technological innovations of agricultural manure application. Way out in the distance, but close enough to smell, were the demonstration fields. Each application demonstration precipitated a commotion from intrigued observers as they inspected the results.

Manure ExpoPhoto: Expo attendees looking on at an equipment demonstration 

Among the educators was Penn State Agriculture and Environmental Center (AEC) director, Matt Royer, who shared with an engaged audience his insight on legal liability issues related to manure. His talk covered recent lawsuits across the country that decision makers in agriculture and the environment should be privy to.

The AEC works across the Commonwealth to tackle the region’s most challenging water quality problems. Engaging a diverse set of stakeholders is a hallmark of the Center’s success.

“Robb Meinen and his crew did a great job planning and putting on a top notch event,” said Royer. “We were glad to play a small part.”

Meinen notes that although the dust (and the drift) has just settled over Chambersburg, it is not too early to mark your calendars. Next year’s Manure Expo will be held August 3-4, 2016 in London, Ohio.


Written by Maya Yakobi