The cow/calf pair above is the first calf of the 2014 calving season at the University Farm. While this little heifer, born on January 18th, missed the events of Winter Break at the farm, Christina Iacovino, a junior agriculture student and resident at “Farm Hall”, offered a little insight as to what it’s like to stay at the University Farm while everyone else leaves:
As most Truman students scurried home after finals in December, I remained in Kirksville. We said goodbye to our friends and hello to long, cold days outdoors. Of the four University Farm residents, two students remained on the farm at some point over the entirety of winter break. Steve Boos and I stayed for the first half of break, while Anna Lotts and Fran Makarewicz stayed for the second half.
Our days consisted of morning chores, cleaning horse stalls, completing various farm tasks, and evening chores. During morning and evening chores, we fed the students’ horses and chickens, as well as the University’s horses and cattle. We ensured that every animal had a water source that was not frozen and kept a watchful eye on their well being throughout the severe weather. Each day we checked that the animals had enough hay to eat and keep warm. We cared for the students’ horses that remained on the farm over break, cleaned their stalls daily, and collected eggs from the chickens. We used our free time to complete projects around the farm. I spent a few days helping hold horses while the farrier cared for their hooves, and Steve assisted in covering the greenhouse with plastic. We spent an average of 4 hours outside per day, and in the severe wind, cold, snow, and freezing rain this can be quite a challenge. We experienced many days with wind chills in the negative numbers and our dedication was tested, but nevertheless the animals needed to be cared for.
We enjoyed our time spent at the University Farm over break, where we had the opportunity to work as well as relax. Bill Kuntz, the Farm Manager, and students like ourselves kept the University Farm running while campus was quiet, which can sometimes be a tough job. Yet over winter break, our toughest job was keeping warm!