To preserve the land, soil, and water and ensure the best quality forages for livestock, the Berea College Farm is fully Organic Certified. The transition to Organic production began in 2009 and was completed in 2019.
Practices such as no-till or conservation tillage reduce soil erosion and livestock groups graze in a way that reduces stress on the soil and adds fertilizer to pasture lands. Students working or learning on the Farm can learn about each of these practices and how they benefit the Farm enterprise.
In addition to livestock, the Berea College Farm also produces some row crops. Corn, oats, and wheat are a few examples grown for human consumption. Products grown on the Farm are processed and marketed through the Farm Store. Other crops are grown as forages for livestock or hay and haylage production. These include a wide range of winter and summer grasses and legumes. This diversity helps improve and maintain soil quality while also providing nutrient-rich forages for grazing animals.
Each enterprise on the Farm relies on safe and reliable equipment and machinery. Students learn to use tractors and attachments such as mowers, seeders and tillage implements. With staff training and supervision, students can also learn maintenance and basic repair techniques that keep each machine or attachment running safely and efficiently.
By the Numbers
About 600 rolls of hay/haylage are produced on the Farm each year. The cattle herds consume most of this during the winter months.