The last couple of months have been busy with producers at the farm. Between three different open house field days, a high school FFA group, a college animal science class, and the Ag Development Board staff, we have hosted a total of 300 people in the last 90 days. I want to thank everyone who has attended an event at Eden Shale this year. It has been good to get to see folks at the farm again.
As far as the actual work at the farm, it seems like all we have done this past month is repair water leaks and fix fence. Both problems stem from the same issue; rust. Whether underground or above, metal has a lifespan, and both the water lines and the woven wire where installed over 50 years ago.
Almost all the water lines on the farm are 2 inch galvanized lines that have reached their service limit. There is not much we can do about it other than locate it, patch it with pvc, and wait for the next spot to start leaking. I know that there are many small leaks around that farm that are not large enough to be detected. One day they will become significant enough that we will find them and fix them. Until then I guess we keep the excavator handy…
The fence on the farm is not much different than the water pipe in that most of it was installed when the farm was created in the 1950’s. It is now too brittle to patch and a lot of the post are rotten/rusted off at the ground. The majority of our dead ash trees have become rotten enough to start falling and are taking the old fence out with it. Every time the wind blows we have half a dozen new locations to patch fence at.
While it is easy to focus on the challenges, I do want to point out that there are many good things going on at the farm. We have more grass than we know what to do with. The cows are all in great condition obviously loving the abundance of forages. The weaned calves are healthy and growing well. And Dr. Higgins has been productively working on projects keeping Eden Shale at the forefront of on-farm efficiency. What more could you ask for?
I hope the fall has been kind to your operation this season. From everyone at Eden Shale Farm, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.
Read more about how Eden Shale Farm has adapted to simplifying our winter feeding on the Progressive Cattle website below: