From the Ground Up: News and Updates from the CEFS Research Farm
By Andrew Meier, Superintendent, Cherry Research Farm
The Farm crew has been busy during the past month! They have been working with university faculty and other volunteers to prune the Loblollys and some Longleaf pines in the agroforestry plots. The winter season always includes general cleanup and maintenance of our equipment, buildings and facility, and they have been doing a great job.
The Dairy Unit has completed calving. Since October 2012, 125 Moms have had babies -- 65 males and 60 females. The dairy crew is now focusing on getting these animals bred back for next Fall. The dairy crew is also mending fences and constructing new ones for the upcoming grazing season. Both the cows and the staff are looking forward to fresh grass. Apprentice Rachael continues to be heavily involved with the calves and the breeding season. Her assistance is much appreciated! Johnnie and Windy are busy keeping it up with it all to make sure everything gets done. Jeffrey, Todd, Billy, Bryan, Larry, Logan and Julie work to see to it that all of the daily chores are done. This includes milking the cows twice a day, feeding the calves, breeding the cows and making sure all of the youngstock are appropriately cared for. We certainly appreciate their efforts!
Top left: Agroforestry plots before pruning.
Top right: Agroforestry plots after pruning.
Opposite: Momma goat with her kids.
The Livestock crew has been hard at it too. They have been working to construct a 40 x 40 facility to weigh and handle the pigs from the hoop houses. This is long-overdue and much-needed, both for the safety of our pigs as well as our staff. Jason and Brian have been doing a great job! In their free time, they are breeding sows for the upcoming year. The beef herd is currently calving and Mark and Steven have been doing a great job seeing to it that all of the animals are well-cared for. We look forward to hosting several labs with Wayne Community College related to livestock production in the upcoming months. The Goats started having their kids just this past weekend, and Danny and Jim are doing a great job making sure Moms and kids have all they need. Brad and Jason oversee all these operations and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.