Contact: Dennis Trainor
RD1, Box 140
Tionesta, PA 16353
Farmer Workshop Teaches Horse-Powered Dairy Production
Entering the dairy industry today poses many challenges, including the high cost of purchasing and maintaining
equipment. For many, the solution is to have at least one member of the family work off the farm. This often
leads to a focus away from the care and maintenance of the farmís animals and crops.
For Dennis and Kathy Trainor, the solution is different. The Trainors have been able to maintain focus on
running a successful dairy operation for the past 14 years. Their success does not come from high-tech
equipment and associated debt burdens, but rather from sound, low-input farming strategies. This year, they
will be sharing their experiences with people interested in an introduction to dairy farming using horses and
People interested in integrating horses into a farming operation can attend one of three week-long workshops
designed to offer intensive instruction in the use of draft horses as a means of planting, cultivating and
harvesting enough crops to sustain a dairy operation under the most difficult economic conditions. No
experience is necessary, as the workshops are intended to open up interest in dairy farming to new people.
Classes will be limited to a small number of individuals. In addition to providing in-depth instruction, the
Trainors will serve as consultants for the people attending the workshops as well as others interested in
horse-powered production techniques. Tuition is $100 per session for each participant.
Workshops will be offered in May, July and September. The first workshop will include an introduction to cows
and milking equipment, equipment costs, buying and raising profitable dairy cows, and care and nutrition
elements. General knowledge of draft horses will also be covered, including the expected costs, care,
harnessing and rein configurations for various implements.
In July, the focus will be on using horse-drawn implements to harvest oats and to make hay. Introduction to
specific production equipment and maintenance will be followed by actual experience in making hay with horses.
The third workshop, offered in September, will introduce corn harvesting equipment, and focus on the harvest
process. Participants will have the opportunity to work with five neighboring farmers, and learn from them
about sustaining agriculture with community support.
The Low Input Sustainable Dairy Farming Through Draft Horse Power Workshops are sponsored in part through a
grant from the Northeast Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. For more
information, contact Dennis or KathyTrainor at (814)354-6129.
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