Some points to consider as you begin developing an EMS.
Commitment of owners and management of a farm are critical to EMS implementation. Management must be committed to providing the time and resources needed.
Make the EMS specific for your farm. Many good examples are available; the examples included in this tool and others can go a long way in helping you develop an EMS. However, each farm and situation is different and requires different approaches. What works for one farm may not work for another but can provide valuable guidance.
Determine the scope of the EMS. This will define the extent and boundaries of the EMS. The producer can select a portion of its activities for implementation. For example, a
finishing producer may include only the finishing part of the operation for applying an EMS. This flexibility allows producers to institute the EMS in sub-operations before total on-farm implementation. Or a producer may decide
not to include auxiliary operation such as off-site maintenance garages or storage facilities unrelated to the swine operation. The operations can always be added to the EMS at a later date,
though it is not required.
Don’t reinvent programs and procedures for the EMS that
already exist. For example, producers already have plans for spray irrigation and crop management, pest
control and catastrophic mortality management, to name a few. Monitoring and measuring
lagoon levels and nutrient content of soils, and maintaining various records and checklists are already a part of managing a farm’s environmental impacts. Each of these
activities can be integrated into the EMS.
Plan on a six month to one year design and implementation period. A useful EMS cannot be implemented in a week.
Get help if you need it! EMS assistance is available from a variety of organizations and
If producers wish to pursue ISO 14001 certification, consultation with an experienced EMS professional is advised.