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Composting Avian Influenza Mortalities

Join webinar featured speaker Prof. Mark Hutchinson and moderator Dr. Susan Kerr to learn about the issues associated with avian influenza-related poultry carcass disposal.

Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension. He has been actively involved in carcass management research and educational program for over 10 years.  As a member of the Maine Compost Team, he has conducted carcass compost research with various deadstock including horses, hogs, cattle, and poultry. His research has focused on the compost process, efficacy of soft tissue degradation, and usefulness of compost as a routine, catastrophic, and disease management tool.

Professor Hutchinson has led professional development training programs for stakeholders throughout the Northeast and co-chaired three international symposia on carcass mortality management. During the recent HPAI outbreak in the Midwest, Mark served as a subject matter expert, traveling to Iowa twice to assist producers in composting poultry flocks. He will share his experiences in Iowa and how we can be better prepared for another HPAI outbreak or other disease outbreaks. He will share lessons learned during the outbreak and current preparations for a future outbreak as related to compost as a management tool.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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