The 2016 Midwest Compost Operator Training was a huge success.
An emphasis was placed on the use of food scraps and similar feed stocks. Hands on activities were included. Certificates were provided to participants upon successful completion of the voluntary exam at the end of the school.
Dr. Kapil Arora is Extension Engineer for Iowa State University Extension with expertise in composting, water quality, and environmental regulations. Kapil is currently involved in developing and conducting a composting educational program at Iowa State University and has successfully conducted the Midwest Composting Schools since 2004. Kapil has worked with yard waste, industrial waste, and livestock facilities for logistics and management of composting operations. He will also educate participants on compost recipe development, data management, and record keeping.
Ginny Black is the Chair of the Minnesota Composting Council (MNCC). For 20-years before that she worked as the Organics Recycling Specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She continues to provide technical assistance to compost facility operators, promotes markets for finished compost, provide education to citizens to help them make informed decisions and take actions that conserve resources and prevent pollution. She served on the USCC Board of Directors for 15-years and is the current chair of the Composting Council's Research and Education Foundation. She will welcome workshop participants.
Tim Farnan, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Tim Farnan works in the Sustainable Materials Management Unit at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Tim’s work focuses on waste prevention and recycling with an emphasis on Organics Recycling. Tim has been a member of the board of the Minnesota Composting Council since 2014. Tim has been with the MPCA for since 2007, prior to working for the agency he was the customer service manager for Eureka Recycling. Tim will present information on current compost programs from around the country, and providing rule up-dates for Midwest states.
Emeritus Professor Tom Halbach is an Extension Educator and State Specialist for Waste Management and Water Quality at the University of Minnesota. Tom's research and education interests include the beneficial utilization of waste materials in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and mineland reclamation. Tom has taught at the Midwest Composting School since 1995. Tom's expertise includes studies on many types of wastes, from ash and fish waste to food waste and refuse. He serves on the SWANA, Minnesota Land of Lakes Chapter, Board of Directors. Tom will teach participants about the history and science of composting.
Anne Ludvik is the Director of Organics Development for Specialized Environmental Technologies Inc., which operates multiple composting sites in Twin Cities metro locations in Minnesota and operates The Mulch Store. She graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato with a Bachelor of Science double major in Biology and Environmental Science. Prior to graduation she spent four years working in Minnesota State University's Environmental Laboratory-Water Resources Center. Currently her work focuses on compost policy, permitting, and business development. Her goals include expanding organics composting operations through educational outreach, marketing, and network building.
Joe Van Rossum is a Senior Lecturer for the University of Wisconsin -Extension's Solid & Hazardous Waste Education Center in Madison, Wisconsin. In his role as Recycling Specialist he provides technical assistance to businesses, municipalities and community groups in the area of recycling, composting and solid waste management. He is the coordinator for the Wisconsin Master Composter program, which provides training and resources that individuals can use to teach others in their community about backyard composting.
Wayne Thompson is an Assistant Professor with the Washington State University Extension. His areas of expertise include: Soil Quality, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Soil Water Management and Agronomy/Dryland Cropping Systems. Previously he was a research agronomist with Texas A&M, AgriLife Extension Service and the Soil and Crop Sciences Department of Texas A&M University. He received a B.S. in agronomy and pest management from Iowa State University and a M.S. in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota. He has over 30 years of experience working with cropping systems and plant nutrition. Mr. Thompson is a leading expert in compost test method development and evaluation. He has 20 years of experience in this technical arena serving as principal editor of the world’s most referenced laboratory manual on compost testing, “Test Methods for the Examination of Composting and Compost (TMECC)” for U.S. Composting Council and USDA-ARS. He will teach analytical methods for compost operators.
Dr. Paul Walker is the former Director of the compost research facility at the Illinois State University Research Farm in Lexington, IL. He served as the program coordinator and lead investigator for the composting and separation studies in the Department of Agriculture - Animal Science at Illinois State University. He works with a team of 12 investigators providing unique expertise, who represent diverse but complimentary disciplines. He will present information on compost site development and composting operations based on more than 20 years of practical experience.