University of Minnesota Extension Service

Living with Livestock, Part Three: Sheep and Goats

I thought I would begin my third of a series of four livestock workshops at the University of Minnesota petting cute, cuddly lambs and kids (as in baby goats), but instead we started out sifting through a box of what looked like medieval torture instruments. The all-in-one castrator and tail docker, a clever little gizmo, was designed to cut off the relevant body part and simultaneously crimp the ends of the wound shut to prevent excessive bleeding. The hand shears, for clipping sheep destined for competitive shows, were more or less giant, extremely sharp scissors. My personal favorite was the hot-iron tail docker, most notable perhaps for its very low-tech-ness.

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Tunnel Farming Adds Weeks to a Short Growing Season

For everything there is a season, but for fresh produce grown in the Upper Midwest, it can be a frustratingly short period of time. It’s a hard truth that local food lovers in colder climes have accepted with resignation: enjoy the seasonal bounty of fruits and vegetables while you can, before the growing season quickly comes to an end. For many of us, the abbreviated availability of certain fresh foods make the concepts of eating locally and seasonally seem incompatible for a good portion of the year. But now, an emerging farm technique is stretching the traditional boundaries of the growing season and could help bring the local and the seasonal together under its roof. 

Early Surprises

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