On November 12, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other environmental and scientific experts to create the Nutrient Recycling Challenge (NRC). The competition was created to develop technology to recycle nitrogen and phosphorus from the more than one billion tons of livestock waste that is produced annually. The NRC is made up of four phases, allowing innovators to turn concepts into designs, and designs into working pilot projects used by participating farms. Phase I includes a $20,000 cash prize that can be split among up to four semi-finalists. It began on November 16, 2015, and will end on January 15, 2016, with semi-finalists announced in March 2016. Semi-finalists will also be invited to a two-day partnering and investor summit in Washington, D.C. and will gain entry into the next phases of the challenge. The phases will continue with larger awards being distributed until final awards are announced in January 2017, and the pilot project will be started.