You all know about the ESF and the activities that we have going on their. However the cattle operation or the forage demonstrations aren't the only thing you will see when spending any time at all on the farm. This farm is FULL of wildlife. It's no secret that Owen County has the largest deer population in Kentucky, but it seems to be doing quite well in regards to turkey as well. This turkey nest was sheltered in a fence row underneath a low growth cedar tree. Needless to say, when the hen flushed the horses didn't appreciate it very much!
Other species that have been spotted include coyote, fox, hawks, rabbits, squirrels, and even some muskrats in the creek. This fellow didn't seem to mind me at all while he was hunting for mice right beside the dairy barn.
And then there are the deer. Owen County deer are also know to be large. Easily the largest buck I have ever seen I jumped out of a cedar thicket last winter. I'm not much of a deer hunter, but the sight of him made me want to put on some camo and sit in a tree. There is deer sign all over the farm and it is evident where they like to cross the fences because they are constantly wearing out holes that Greg and I have to tend to so we can keep the cows in. We watched these two yearlings cross the fence. One jumped it and the other just kind of went through it.
There is a strict No Hunting policy at the farm and it seems as though the wildlife knows that. But I enjoy getting to see such a diverse ecosystem at the farm. It is a testament that if you take care of the land and manage it properly, the wildlife will recognize it and call it home. Hopefully I can catch a picture of that large buck just so you know I'm being honest...
Welcome to the Eden Shale Farm Blog. This site is dedicated to the current activity at the farm, as well as posting updates about our demonstrations and field days. I will be the first to tell you that I am not a professional writer and I will be using more pictures than words to keep you up-to-date with activity at Eden Shale Farm (which I will be referring to as ESF).
But lets start with a little recap of how we got the farm and what we are planning to do with it. The University of Kentucky operated the farm from 1955-2012 as a research station focusing on grazing research. Unfortunately UK had to close the doors due to budget constraints and was limited with what they could do with the farm. That's when they called the Kentucky Cattleman's Association and asked us if we would be willing to operate the farm. After several long meetings and a lot of lawyer work later, the Kentucky Beef Network decided that we would overtake the management of Eden Shale.
We however do not plan to do research, but instead use the farm to show best management practices that a producer can use on their own farm. We have demonstrations in place to be able to show farmers what practices work best before they make the investment with their own money. They can also come to the farm and see the practice in place and how it works. We want to have a very open, hands on approach so that the producers can become familiar with a produce/technique before implementing it at their farms.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit ESF I hope that you can do so in the near future. We have several field days scheduled for September.
September 11th - UK Advanced Grazing School
September 16th - Fencing School
September 18th - Feeder Calf Grading School
If you can't make it to a field day just stop by the farm and talk to Greg, our Farm Manager (you can't miss him. He will be wearing a cowboy hat and a handlebar mustache). We have an open door policy and he would be happy to show you around the farm.
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