Getting busy at research station

The first week of May normally is a very busy one at the research station in Emo.
Students start, the weather is great, and we are off planting!
The weather isn’t so great this year but Nick, my returning student, and I will be busy weighing seeds and setting up our trials.
I’ve heard there has been some land activity in the west but now it looks as though it is going to be a wet week here.
And as I opened my blinds Monday morning and saw snowflakes, I knew we wouldn’t have any land activity despite the beautiful day Sunday.
• • •
Ted and Deb Zimmerman from Rainy River Meats, along with me, were invited to speak at the “For the Love of Food & Farming” workshop in Dryden over the weekend.
I spoke about the research station while Ted and Deb talked about their local food store. Linda Debney (Zimmerman) joined us speaking about beef farming in the north.
The event was very well-attended and organizers did a wonderful job of promoting local food. It was spurred by the great interest they have seen since forming their local food co-op.
You should check it out at www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com
• • •
Sunday was a busy day on the farm. We had to get all the cattle in, as well as the calves vaccinated and sorted out, so the bulls could go out.
Despite losing my boot in the deep mud a couple of times, things went quite well (two weeks ago when we vaccinated, things were still quite frozen so at least we know it has warmed up enough to soften things up!)
Cattle have moved out of the yard onto some higher ground, so they are enjoying that. And naturally, the bulls are happy to be out with a bunch of cows after spending the winter with the pesky horse.
Next of the agenda is getting the sheep sheared and moved back outside. The lambs escape their pens and run all over the place–upsetting their mothers.
They will be happy to return to the outdoors and I will be happy to get my barn cleaned up again.
• • •
It’s also time to start checking fences—and it seems the spring chore list just keeps getting longer. I like to tackle the fence-checking job sooner rather than later since I do not like snakes and I am hoping that if I do it when it’s cool, I might not encounter any.
And since the sheep numbers are growing, I have some sheep fence to make this spring.
• • •
I know I’ve been talking about and suggesting what exciting times it is in agriculture right now. People finally are starting to see the value of having access to well-grown, safe food.
Farmers are doing a better job of educating our neighbours and marketing our products. And the industry itself is employing more and more people.
The University of Guelph noted there are two jobs waiting for every agriculture diploma graduate in Ontario and three jobs waiting for every degree program graduate!
These job opportunities demonstrate the strength in Ontario’s agri-food sector and the promising future it offers the next generation!

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