Livestock producers will have access to a host of experts and information as the University of Illinois Extension and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) will present a  “Ventilation and Air Quality for Livestock Systems Field Day.”

The free event takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Agricultural Engineering Farm, located south of the University of Illinois campus (3606 S. Race Street, near the intersection of Race Street and Curtis Road, Urbana, Ill.) The field day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. The timeline allows for hands-on learning about ventilation system controls, energy efficiency and biofilters. Producers will have the opportunity to visit with engineers, agency representatives, and ventilation system manufacturers.

Participants will not be in proximity to livestock at the field day, so no routine biosecurity down times should be necessary for producers who attend, organizers point out.

“Livestock producers from Illinois and surrounding states will have the opportunity to learn more about advances in modern ventilation systems and air mitigation strategies as they relate to their operations,” said Laura Pepple, livestock Extension specialist in ABE.

Matt Robert, agricultural engineer from the Illinois office of the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will be the luncheon keynote speaker. He will discuss energy and air quality initiatives associated with NRCS programs.

Field day seminar topics include:

  • Biofilters: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • Balancing Ammonia Reduction and Nitrous Oxide Production
  • Moisture Control: The Key to Biofilter Success
  • Reducing Energy Cost in Ventilated Livestock Buildings: An Example from Broiler Housing

The Mobile Environment and Energy Laboratory, a specially built enclosed trailer designed to simulate ventilated livestock housing, will be on site for the day. Jeremiah Davis and Jody Purswell, faculty from Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will give demonstrations on lighting and heat lamp efficiency, fan performance, ventilation system controls management and energy usage in livestock housing.

Livestock ventilation equipment manufacturers will have displays at the field day, and company representatives will be on hand to visit with producers about fan, heater and cooling system controls, organizers point out.

Other on-site demonstrations include “Do-it-yourself Construction Options for Biofilters” and an optional tour of the University of Illinois Solar Decathlon home, with a discussion on green energy.

The Illinois Pork Producers Association provided fund for the event, as well as a grant from USDA-National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Registration is free, and lunch will be provided; however, space at this field day facility is limited. Participants should pre-register by Friday, Nov. 2. To register, or if you have questions, contact Laura Pepple, at or (217) 244-0083.