Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) means a lot or facility where the following conditions are met: Animals have been, are, or will be stabled. Housed, or confined and fed or maintained for a total of forty-five (45) days or more in any 12-month period;
Crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post- harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility; and
Two or more AFOs under common ownership are considered to be a single AFO if they adjoin each other or if they use a common area or system for the storage or disposal of waste.
The Utah ESC Animal Feeding Operation focuses on environmental issues related to livestock activities, including manure handling, storage and field application, as well as conservation practices to protect water and prevent soil erosion. The Animal Feeding Operation targets all Utah livestock farms, regardless of species or size. The Animal Feeding Operation concentrates on production and conservation practices, equipment, structures and management activities associated with animal production.
For livestock producers, the ultimate accomplishment in the Utah ESC is Animal Feeding Operation certification. Some producers may elect to immediately pursue the completion of a CNMP and verification.
Once a plan to address the risks identified in the assessment has been developed, and immediate risks of groundwater and surface water contamination have been implemented, farmers can contact the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to request Cropping System verification (801 538-7120 or email@example.com). An Utah ESC certifier will visit the farm to verify that the plan has been implemented and to ensure that the farmer is addressing all applicable environmental risks.
On-farm records are an important component for a producer to show they are following the Utah ESC Animal Feeding Operation. During the visit, UDAF staff verify the implementation of the plan to ensure that he livestock producer is in compliance with agricultural and environmental laws and regulations.
Once a farm is "certified," a farmer can purchase a Utah ESC farm or office sign and the farm is eligible for Utah ESC sign rebates, cost-share incentives, tax credits, low-cost lending and reduced liability insurance premiums from participating companies.
In order to maintain Utah ESC verification a farmer must attend a Utah ESC educational session and request a site visit from Utah ESC at least every five years.
The following resources can help the livestock producer prepare for the MDARD verifier visit: