Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 29 (April 1, 2013)

It was hard to believe, but we were already at the last week of class for the semester and program.  Next week everybody will be starting their internships.  The main push this week was completing the final for the Grass Based Livestock Class which was writing a farm management plan for a hypothetical farm we out of the blue, inherited. Refer to last weeks post for additional details.  After handing in the final we headed outside for some farm skills work on putting together water pipes to provide water for livestock in pastures.

Nose pump allows cattle to pump their own drinking water

Cutting a PVC water line

Attaching a valve that necks the line down to 3/4-in so you
can use common  garden hose fixtures

Splicing two water lines together using a crimp.

Practice at using a water siphon
 Then it was back in the classroom to finish the lecture on "Management of Individual Species on Pasture".  This was basically a series of mini workshops on all of the various potential livestock enterprises a person might want to employ and how some might stack (or complement) with each other within a single farm operation.  The information presented included feed requirements, housing needs, care, breeding, safety, potential markets, complementary enterprises and were to find additional resources on each species .  They types of livestock covered were: Hogs, Grass Fed Beef Cattle, Grass Fed Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Meat Goats, Dairy Goats, Turkeys, Ducks and Geese.

After we handed in the assignments tied to the last two chapter reading assignments, the final Sociology of Agriculture Class was spent with a brief review of the topics covered and take away points "Start seeing things in the world from different angles / perspectives.  Observe and look for patterns.  Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  And finally, keep reading and learning.  We then took our final seed quiz (it was rumored that if you did not pass this you did not pass the class).  Just before we left class the instructor gave us our take home final assignment (Which I thought we were not having a final since we were done with class before finals week).  The assignment was to write a paper on "What is the use (if any) of the sociological perspective and explain how it applies to you as a Sustainable Farmer".  Assignment was due next week, submitted electronically.

The final class for Farm Management and Marketing was a pot luck at Instructor Ryan Pesch's Farm "Lida Farm".  While there, in addition to eating a very good meal, and being entertained by Mr. Pesch's children we discussed our Draft Farm Business Plans with the other students, getting their input and questions on the plan.  Then each student had a session with Mr. Pesch and received his input and thoughts on our draft business plans.  The final version of the business plan was due in approximately 3-weeks, submitted electronically.  Isn't the internet and e-mail a wonderful thing?

The Sustainable Food Production Program Class of 2013 with
Program director and Instructor Dr. Wika (on the right).  I am glad to have
 them all friends and part of my resource base.

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