|Compatible Technologies International Grain Winnower|
On Tuesday it was off to the Fergus Falls Livestock Auction to complete the fieldwork data collection and observation portion of the Sociology of Food and Agriculture "Fergus Falls Livestock Auction Project" assignment. The objectives of this assignment are:
- To gain experience doing sociological fieldwork.
- To gain experience objectively observing and recording data.
- To increase knowledge of the livestock industry in our community.
- To write a sociological descriptive paper for an audience one can assume knows little of nothing about livestock auctions.
This 4 to 6 page descriptive paper is due on March 22, 2013 and is worth 100-pts (which is a significant portion of the class grade).
On Wednesday the morning was spent on homework, then went to the Sociology of Food and Agriculture study group to discuss reading assignments and study questions. After that I did some more homework and then headed to Verndale to Seven Pines Farm and Fence to help out getting things ready for Thursday's class at the farm.
On Thursday the Grass Based Livestock class was back at Seven Pines Farm checking out the winter quarters for the animals and getting some first hand experience with handling animals.
|Bringing the cows home for the evening milking Wednesday night.|
|Sows at their winter quarters. Next summer this area will|
be where the garden vine crops are grown.
|Sows rooting through the remains of a bale of baleage.|
The top wire of the fence is electric.
|Laying hens heading out the door from their|
winter quarters to get some fresh air and sunshine.
|Round bale feeder|
|A sled is a handy piece of equipment in the winter for hauling things around the farm.|
|This hoop house is the winter home to the feeder pigs.|
This spring they will be moved to the calf pen to pigerate the
bedding pack fro the calves
|This gilt has a bum leg so she was separated from the rest of|
the feeder pigs by putting her in the hospital pen in the hen hoop house.
|Insulated waterer provides water year around. The cows in|
the winter pasture have access to this waterer anytime they want a drink
|Manure Fork. Keep it separate from the feed forks.|
|Cow aspirin and a tool for feeding pills to cattle|
|This is not an anchor for putting a big screw in drywall.|
It is a Bloat Trocar. If one of your cattle has bloat and
you can not get them up you screw this into their
ruman, remove the plug and it lets the gas out.
|Here we are adding a little ear bling to make this heifer stand out|
from the rest of the herd.
For the Friday seed quiz in Sociology of Ag we had two new seeds added to the pop quiz, Millet and Flax. The rumor in class is that in order to pass the class you have to pass the final seed. quiz! After the seed quiz we discussed our reading assignment Carolan - Chapter 5 "Community, Labor and Peasantries". This chapter dealt with the effects that industrial farming has on the socio-economic and social fabric of a community. We then discussed our second reading assignment, Chapters 1 and 2 of "The Contrary Farmer" by Gene Logsdon. For the remaining portion of class we had a guest speaker Rick Dreblo (sp?) who is a retired banker who now runs a grass based beef operation and raises replacement heifers. Rick talked about Ag financing and farming.
The finance theme continued in our Farm Management and Marketing Class with a lecture on Whole Farm Planning: Financial Statements and the three main financial forms; Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Statement and how they are used to measure profitability, liquidity and solvency. The discussion included direct and overhead farm expenses, assets vs. liabilities and net worth as well as cash flow projections. We also worked through some worksheets applying these concepts to our individual farm business plans. The class wrapped up with work on how to develop promotional materials for a farm enterprise.