Implementation of a composting and manure management experiential learning activity in two undergraduate courses

Erin L. Coitus, Rebecca C. Bott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Manure management is a major component of horse and livestock production. However, knowledge of a practice and confidence in performing a practice are not necessarily synonymous. Faculty from South Dakota State University's (SDSU) Animal Science and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering partnered to develop an experiential learning opportunity for students to learn about manure management and composting. The activity was conducted in an equine stable management (1 cohort of students) and an agricultural waste management course (2 cohorts of students). The activity objectives were: 1) gain experience designing and constructing a compost pile, 2) critically evaluate compost progress and make appropriate management decisions, 3) maintain a logbook of management decisions and behaviors, and 4) develop an understanding of opportunities and challenges associated with manure management. Following compost pile construction, students assumed responsibility for monitoring and maintenance of the compost piles for a two month period. The perceptions and knowledge of composting for one cohort of each course were compared before and after the activity and between courses. Students from both classes who participated in compost management reported an increased confidence in knowledge and ability to compost. The perceptions of the students on the importance of manure management differed between courses over time, likely as a result of the overall course content differences. The variations in activity implementation for the three cohorts are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2014, ASABE 2014
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Pages1516-1523
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781632668455
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2014, ASABE 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 13 2014Jul 16 2014

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2014, ASABE 2014
Volume2

Other

OtherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2014, ASABE 2014
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period7/13/147/16/14

Keywords

  • Composting
  • Experience
  • Horses
  • Management
  • Manures

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