Engineer. Professor. Mom. Poopologist.
The Manure Lady
Who is the 'Manure Lady?
What do you do as a manure management engineer?
Great question. My name is Amy Schmidt and I'm an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Departments of Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science. My area of expertise is livestock manure management, and when someone doesn't know my name but is asking about me, they often refer to me as "the manure lady". If the title fits, I figure I should roll with it!
What on Earth made you choose a career working with manure?
Another great question, and one my family and friends often ponder. I majored in Agricultural Engineering at Iowa State University for my bachelor's degree with a focus on soil and water resources. During my last semester, I took a graduate-level "waste management" course that I really enjoyed. Having grown up in rural Southeast Iowa surrounded by crops and livestock, I appreciated the value of agriculture to the economy, rural living, and food production. Manure management wasn’t something I had ever spent much time thinking about, but I was intrigued by all of the research and new technology being explored in this area. I learned about a professor who was looking for a student to help with research on new technology for analyzing nutrients in manure and it sounded interesting. I ended up earning my master's degree with this "manure project" as my thesis. The rest is history!
In my job as a university professor, I conduct research and outreach programs to help farmers manage organic and inorganic fertilizers in a way that supports the health of people, animals, soil, and the environment. Check out some of my research projects.
Conducting research and delivering outreach programs require that I am successful at earning grant funding to support these activities. The grants I earn allow me to hire students wishing to earn an advanced degree (master's or Ph.D.) and those wishing to gain experience with research and outreach as undergraduate students. (Learn more about my research and outreach team by visiting the Schmidt Lab website. Find out more about becoming a member of the Manure Lady's team here!)
Life outside the world of manure...
When I’m not working my “day job,” you can find me at baseball and softball fields around Nebraska and beyond cheering on my son’s and daughter’s teams. We’re a baseball family through and through. I’ve loved baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals since going to my first Cards game when I was five years old! On the rare occasion that we’re not at a game or practice, you can find me watching movies with my kids, snuggling my mini Goldendoodle, Yadi, cooking and baking, or working in the yard.