2009 MMS Speakers and Bios

Dave Anderson
Presentation Title: Manure Safety and Transportation


University/Company Affiliation: Vincent, Urban, Walker & Associates

Jeffrey A. Arnold
University/Company Affiliation: Integrated Separation Solutions (ISS), LLC
Presentation Title: Creating Clean Water – Sustainable Manure Handling


Presentation Summary:  This presentation will focus on a comprehensive system that could create distinct nutrient packages that could be reused for irrigation, compost, bedding or even recycled to clean water.  This is an integrated system that can be custom tailored to an individual location and back by years of expertise in water treatment.




Title: Assistant Professor



University/Company Affiliation: Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech



Biography, research interests and focus:  


Ph.D. 1997 – Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
M.S. 1989 – Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
B.S. 1983 – Agricultural Engineering, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Energy and nutrient recovery from biobased materials.  Animal waste management best management practices.   Agricultural air quality.   Technology Transfer.


Presentation Title:  Creating Designer Manure: Technology to Control Phosphorus


Presentation Summary:  Dr. Arogo will focus on technology and systems that allow producers to remove phosphorus from manure and achieve desired levels of phosphorus in their manure.

Sue Beitlich
Title: President


Presentation Title: Carbon Credits – Tapping into your Digester and Land’s Hidden Potential”


Presentation Summary: Sue Beitlich will discuss carbon credits and their applications for on-farm digesters.  She will also discuss the potential of applying carbon credits to other areas of production agriculture.


Title: Agricultural Engineer


Biography, research interests and focus: 

Keri Cantrell is currently an Agricultural Engineer conducting research for the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center in Florence, SC. She began her career in 2006 after graduating with a Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Her research has focused on using animal manure as a bioenergy feedstock. Specifically, Dr. Cantrell is investigating the use of thermochemical conversion processes (high temperature and high pressure systems) as a means of animal waste treatment. In addition to reducing vast quantities of manure, these processes can produce biochar, synthesis gas, and combustible bio-oil. Incorporating these processes into waste management systems has the potential to make future livestock operations sustainable and environmentally benign while generating on-farm renewable energy.


Presentation Title: Making the Most of Manure: Emerging Waste-to-Energy Treatments


Presentation Summary: Research by engineers and scientists at the Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center is investigating the use of high temperature and pressure conversion systems as a means of animal manure waste treatment. These systems are reviewed along with the potential end-products of biochar, synthesis gas, and bio-oil.

Ryan DeBroux
Title: President


University/Company Affiliation: Professional Nutrient Applicator Association of Wisconsin, DeBroux Custom Work
Presentation Title:  Manure Safety and Training


Title: Conservation Professional Development and Training Coodinator



University/Company Affiliation: University of Wisconsin – Cooperative Extension 


Biography, research interests and focus
Kevin Erb is the Conservation Professional Development and Training Coordinator for University of Wisconsin-Extension. Based in Green Bay and Madison, Kevin holds an MS in Environmental Science and Policy (2000) from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and has sixteen years experience working with farmers and rural landowners on nutrient management and environmental issues. He is the lead advisor to the board of the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW), and assists applicators and Extension educators on commercial applicator education in 5 states. Kevin initiated the nation’s first manure spill response demonstration using actual manure, and more than 1,600 farmers and applicators from 7 states have taken part in these live action demonstrations since 2002.


Presentation Title: Manure as a Cash Crop: Considerations, Pitfalls, Liabilities


Presentation Summary: The recent wide swings in fertilizer prices, land rents and commodity prices have changed the manure trading landscape. Dairies who two years ago begged neighbors to take their manure are now selling to the highest bidder. Cash grain farmers and even other livestock farmers are knocking on doors looking for manure. Taking the right steps now can insure that manure can be a source of income for your farm and not a liability nightmare.

Title: Managing Director
University/Company Affiliation: EBA – GmbH, Triesdorf, Germany
Biography, research interests and focus:
Manfred currently is the managing director of EBA – GmdH in Triesdorf Germany.  He works on putting together training workshops for farmers and industry on the the topic of biogas production.  This includes topics related to using appropriate technology, maximizing biogas production and economics of production.
Manfred has a degree in Engineering from .  He has operated a biogas plant on his own farm in Germany for 9 years (120 cows – 2 robots).  Manfred currently lives in Germany.
Presentation Title: Manure Digesters in Europe – Applications to the United States
Presentation Summary:  Manfred Faatz will focus on the development of the biogas industry in agriculture in Germany.  He will give an overview of the technology that is being used in Germany to handle manure for biogas production and the direction the industry is taking.
Title: Associate at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates


University/Company Affiliation: Conestoga‑Rovers & Associates
Biography, research interests and focus:  
Mr. Ferguson is a mechanical engineer and an Associate at Conestoga‑Rovers & Associates.  Mr. Ferguson has worked in CRA’s Air Quality Group for 13 years. His experience in air compliance assessment includes permitting, risk management plans, dispersion modeling, stack testing and odor abatement.   Mr. Ferguson has completed air compliance work at more than 300 manufacturing, waste management and agricultural facilities in the US , Canada, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Ferguson manages CRA’s odor laboratory with trained odor panelists to quantify ambient and stack odor samples in accordance with ASTM and European standards. Mr. Ferguson has conducted numerous odor assessments for various industries, waste management and agricultural facilities.  These include emission estimates, sample collection, dispersion modeling, remedial action plans and abatement designs.
Mr. Ferguson has been working closely with CRA’s agricultural group in assessing sources of odor and investigating potential abatement solutions.  Mr. Ferguson has been involved with the preparation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for various agriculture facilities, including dairy, poultry, beef and hogs.  Additionally he has evaluated various emission control and reduction techniques including wind breaks, diet adjustments, dust suppression systems and lagoon covers.
Mr. Ferguson is familiar and involved with numerous national air emissions studies being conducted as well as the EPA Air Emissions Consent Agreement.
Presentation Title: Air emissions, NR445, EPA – What’s coming in 2010 and what should you do?
Presentation Summary: Mr. Ferguson will address the issues related to NR445 and EPA.  He will focus on what requirements are coming in 2010, the nature of air emissions and what can be done on the farm to minimize these emissions.
Title: Professor



Biography, research interests and focus
B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1979
B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1981
Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1983


Presentation Title: Sand Settling Lanes & Economics of Sand Handling


Presentation Summary: In Dr. Joe Harner’s presentations he will focus on sand settling lanes and the economics of various sand handling applications.


Title: Extension Educator


University/Company Affiliation: University of Wisconsin – Extension, Crawford County
Biography, research interests and focus:
Vance J. Haugen, University of Wisconsin Agriculture Extension Agent fo 24 years, started his career by building and operating a small scale methane digester on a 120 cows dairy in North Dakota.  Vance’s current work has been with ultra small scal digesters in Zambia, Africa for 4-10 cows and working to get a proof of concept small scale digester built in Wisconsin.  Vance farms with his wife and daughter in Canton, Minnesota.
Presentation Title: Developing Alternative Manure Digesters for Small and Medium Sized Dairies


Presentation Summary: Ultra small scale methane digesters and the effects of liquid solid separation on the biogas composition and quantity.



Biography, research interests and focus: Brad Holtz has been an agronomist for the Brown County Land & Water Conservation Department for 10 years. Prior to that he worked as an agronomist for a regional cooperative. He is a graduate of KielHigh School and UW-Platteville.


Presentation Title: Manure Transformation: The Brown County Project


Presentation Summary: The Brown County Waste Transformation Project is a public/private partnership aimed at turning agricultural, industrial and municipal generated waste streams into granulated, pathogenic-free fertilizer that can be transported to nutrient deficient regions of the state and beyond.

Larry Krom
Title: Bioenergy Project Manager
Biography, research interests, and focus:
Larry is the program’s technical lead for biogas and wind turbine technologies for the industrial, agricultural and commercial sectors.  Mr. Krom is also the president of L & S Technical Associates, Inc. – founded in 1975 as a multidisciplinary company that offers innovatvie reseach and development solutions for energy and physical sciences.  Since 1991, Mr. Krom has authored numerous renewable energy studies for clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Wisconsin Department of Administration, Energy Center of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  he has also coordinated many research and development projects that included potential analysis for biomass and wind energy solutions.  Mr. Krom has energy policy and program sin the industrial, agricultural and commercial busines sectors.  In this capacity, he is a founder of the Wisconsin Distributed Resources Collaborative (www.WisconsinDR.org), the the technical lead in writing Wisconsin’s “Interconnection Rules for Distributed Generation – PSC 199” and is the current lead of the “Utlity Feed-In Tariff Committee”.  He has been a board member of RENEW Wisconsin (www.renewwisconsin.org) since 1993 and served numerous terms as president.  In September 2006, Mr. Krom received a USDA – Rural Development “Valued Parnter Award” for contributing to the success of the 9006 Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Program in Wisconsin.
Presentation Title: WI Focus on Energy’s Experience with Biogas Digesters
Matt Kures



TitleGIS State Specialist


Biography, research interests and focus:  
Matt has been with UW-Extension’s Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) since 2001.  Working in partnership with Extension’s statewide network of Community Resource Development (CRD) educators, he assists economic development professionals and community organizations in the areas of regional economic analysis, business district market analysis and applied geodemographic studies.  Matt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison and was a member of the In Business Magazine’s 2007 class of 40 under 40.  A co-author of the CCED’s nationally recognized Downtown and Business District Market Analysis Toolbox, he has recently presented sessions on GIS and economic analysis at the International Downtown Association’s Annual Conference in New York, the National Main Street Conference in Seattle, and the ESRI GeoInto Business Summit in Chicago. 
Presentation Title: Examining Bioenergy Development Potential with GIS


Presentation Summary: A set of new GIS tools and data resources has been developed in cooperation with Focus on Energy, UW-Madison Land Information Computer Graphics Facility (LICGF), and UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development.  Resources including feedstock maps, web mapping tools, geospatial data and feedstock profiles were created to help stakeholders understand information relevant to siting and operating bioenergy facilities in Wisconsin.  This session will describe how these resources can be accessed and used by entrepreneurs and developers, regulators and public officials, communities adn concernced citizens, and producers of feedstock and biomass by-products that are used for fuel and energy.












Dr. Frederick C. Michel, Jr.


Title: Associate Professor



University/Company Affiliation: The Ohio State University-Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center



Biography, research interests and focus:



Fred Michel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the OSU Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University and Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado. His research interests are in the areas of composting process development, compost microbial ecology and cellulosic pretreatment for ethanol. He currently serves as Editor of the Compost Science and Utilization journal.



Presentation Title: Farm Scale Composting: Environmental Benefits, Challenges, and Economics


Presentation Summary:


Dr. Michel’s presentation will summarize laboratory studies conducted at OARDC on the fates of antibiotics, viruses, pathogens and nitrogen during manure composting and conventional liquid manure storage. Full scale results of studies on the effects of turning frequency and pile size on dairy manure compost properties and estimates of capital and operational costs for dairy manure composting will also be presented.


Title: Air Quality Extension Specialist



University/Company Affiliation: The Department of Animal Science, University of California – Davis



Biography, research interests and focus:


M.S. – Agricultural Engineering and Animal Science (Diplom Agrar Ingenieur, Dipl. agr. ing.), University of Leipzig, Germany, 1996

Grad studies: Animal Science, University of Goettingen, Germany.

Ph.D: Animal Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 2000

Previous research was conducted in the areas of air quality (dust emission and microbial sampling in feedlot cattle and pigs), environmental physiology (heat stress in cattle and pigs), and ethology.

Dr. Mitloehner’s current research activities are in two main areas:

  1. Air quality research related to livestock production, especially quantification of ammonia, dust, and odor emissions in dairies, beef feedlots, and poultry operations. Main objective is to help establishing environmentally benign livestock systems.
  2. Environmental physiology research, focusing on effects of air emissions on animal health and welfare.




Presentation Title: Mitigating Odor on Farms Using Modern Technology


Presentation Summary: Dr. Frank M. Mitloehner will present research on the science and technology related to the issue of odor.  He will give an overview of research based concepts to lower odor on livestock operations.


Merlin Raab
Title: Manager Renewable Policy & Contracts Wholesale/Renewables
University/Company Affiliation: Wisconsin Public Service Corporation
Biography, research interests and focus: 


Twenty six years with Wisconsin Public Service in a variety of roles related to economic/community development, energy efficiency program development, and industrial customer account management.  Current responsibilities include renewable energy policy and contract development.


Paul Schneider
Title:  President


University/Company Affiliation: EcoCombustion Energy Systems, Corp
Biography, research interests and focus

Director Level Manager Capital Equipment

30 years experience in Paper Industry in key management positions

Agricultural family background &  Ag Supplier

B.S. Marketing Management/Associate degrees Chemistry/Biology



Presentation Title: Manure Incineration for Energy: The Wiese Project


Presentation Summary:


Paul Schneider will present information on the Bio-Energy project at the Wiese Brothers Farm in Greenleaf Wisconsin. The Project is the first in the world to use dry manure as fuel in a combustor for the purpose of creating steam.  The steam is used to turn a turbine generator and create electricity.

Title: University of Wisconsin-Extension Program Director for Agricultural and Natural Resources and Associate Dean for Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension in the University of Wisconsin – Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.



Biography, research interests and focus:  
John Shutske is the Program Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension programs and Associate Dean within the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  Shutske is also a professor in UW-Madison’s Biological Systems Engineering Department as well as the School of Medicine and Public Health.  His research work has focused on issues that include farm-level biosecurity and the human, animal, and public health/safety issues in agriculture.


Presentation Title:


Manure Biosecurity and Safe Handling: Animal and Human Health Implications


Presentation Summary:


Presentation will include an overview of key animal and human health and safety concerns associated with manure handling, storage, application, and movement.  Information will be presented on specific pathogens of interest to the ag industry and practical, research-based “biosecurity”practices to minimize risk.



Title: Division Manager, Ag Engineer


University/Company Affiliation: McLanahan Corporation Ag Systems Division
Biography, research interests and focus:  

Andrew Wedel is the Division Manager of McLanahan Corporation’s Agricultural Systems Division where he is part of a team that develops, designs, and sells mining-duty systems for handling, processing, and storing sand-laden dairy manure.  Specific designs include: conveyance and separation systems; earthen, concrete, and HDPE lined manure storage structures; runoff control structures; and pump and gravity conveyance systems.


Andrew holds a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering Technology from the University of Delaware and a M.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University.  He is a registered professional engineer in:  Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.


Prior to joining McLanahan Corporation in 1996, Andrew was an Agricultural Engineering Specialist at Michigan State University where he, along with a group of ag engineers and dairy producers, researched and developed systems for handling sand-laden dairy manure—most notably the Sand-Manure Separator now manufactured by McLanahan Corporation.


Born on Staten Island, NY and raised in Pittstown, NJ, Andrew calls Duncansville, PA home along with his wife Ann and sons Walter, Alan, and Paul.


Presentation Title: Proven Sand-Laden Manure Handling and Separation Technologies


Presentation Summary:


Issues involving handling and processing sand-laden manure (SLM) continue to challenge dairy producers as engineers often design and specify conventional manure handling and processing systems for SLM; manure systems are not sand systems and vice versa.  Systems originally designed to process sand, gravel, and crushed stone have been successfully adapted for use on dairies in systems ranging from simple conveyance of SLM to separation of sand from manure.  Sand-manure separation (SMS) systems are extremely beneficial as sand-free manure can be pumped, stored, land applied, and/or treated using conventional manure processing technologies.  Furthermore, clean recycled sand represents an annual cost savings of an estimated $80 to $150 per cow. 


Sand processing equipment adapted to dairy manure systems are discussed.  These systems include hydraulic and non-hydraulic conveyance methods.  A variety of sand-manure separation (SMS) systems are also presented ranging from SMS for sand disposal to SMS for sand recycling and pre-treatment for advanced manure treatment systems such as nutrient removal and anaerobic digestion.


Title: Adjunct Faculty


University/Company Affiliation: Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota
Biography, research interests and focus:  
Dr. Winandy’s research involves modeling the effects of chemical, thermal, and biological agents on the physical and mechanical properties of wood composites and the serviceability/durability of wood-based systems. He currently serve as Project Leader of the Performance Designed Composites research work unitat the U.S.D.A., Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI. His work is primarily used to adjust engineering design or preferably it is used to mandate processing or exposure limitations in Codes and Standards that preclude strength losses.


Presentation Title:  Engineering Possibilities and Economics of Converting Biosolids into Building Materials


Presentation Summary: Dr. Winandy will focus on the challenges and possibilities of converting biosolids from manure digesters into building materials.