Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) Compliance

Utah Strategy for Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) Compliance 2000, March: The Division of Water Quality entered into an agreement called A Utah Strategy to Address Water Pollution From Animal Feeding Operations (Utah Strategy) with Utah Farm Bureau, Utah Association of Conservation Districts, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and other agricultural agencies and producer groups, to implement a cooperative process to improve waste management at AFOs. The Utah Strategy agreement departed from the traditional regulatory approach to protect water quality. The strategy is unique among the states and has received national recognition from EPA and the National CAFO Roundtable.

The strategy relied on partnering and voluntary compliance.  The Utah Strategy provided for the agricultural industry and agencies to identify problem AFOs and then provide education, compliance and technical assistance, and financial assistance to address compliance problems at AFOs. The strategy utilized the agricultural partner’s knowledge and working relationships with the producers to increase compliance with the water quality regulations. Impacts to Utah’s waters were reduced through the assistance of the agricultural partners in the preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans which provide proper management and control of wastes.  The innovative Utah Strategy has been successful at assisting AFOs with obtaining full compliance and improving water quality. In association with the Utah Strategy, an AFO/CAFO Committee was formed to discuss AFO-related issues and to affect policies. The committee influences and provides education and compliance assistance to AFOs. The majority of Utah’s producer groups and the regulatory and agricultural agencies are members of the committee. Like the Utah Strategy, the committee relies on cooperation and partnering to assist AFOs.

Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service