Justin McCullough

Experiential Learning

Agroecology Internship 2003

Written as a Journal for a day combining many days in one.

Another morning starting out at 5:30. As I stepped outside the house I could see the early rays of the sun peeking through the early morning fog hanging over the mountains off to the east. Rob and I, with fog in our brains, made our way to the old truck to go up to the main barn to start feeding the goats. We went up the road and past the hay fields, the scent of fresh cut alfalfa lingers in the air and after all the heat yesterday it was no surprise it was ready today. We gave the goats there dry hay and were waiting for Preston to finishing giving grain when I heard him call me over to grab a goat the needs treated and to put it in a hospital pen. I gave the goat the treatment he prescribed and it felt good to see it up and moving around when I went and checked on him this evening. After breakfast we fueled up all the tractors, and greased all of the implements that we used today. We filled the twine box on the square baler with sisal twine and wondered how much would be left in there when the day was done. When the dew came off the fields we headed out to rake. A plume of smoke puffed out of the 686 International when I fired it up, as I headed out to the field I passed a car full of young boys and saw them all watching me, and I remembered when I was like that wishing I could do exactly what I am doing now. I started out across the field rolling over the second cut hay and there wasn’t much green stuff coming up from the bottom so I new this hay would be ready early in the afternoon and we wouldn’t have to race against time to get the hay up. At 2:00 the tractor fired up the baler and Carson started on the 20 acres of second cut alfalfa hay. I climbed into the barn with the unloading crew and Rob went out to get our first load of square bales. Ten loads later we were done and I was high up off the barn floor, I climbed down the elevator tired but satisfied as I looked back at the pile of hay that I helped to make, and that had been laying on the field only a few hours before. We went and did the afternoon feeding and I checked on the little guy I treated this morning and it felt good to see him up and eating the fresh hay I gave him. I went to bed tired but happy, to have the opportunity to be doing what I am doing, happy too because it is supposed to rain tomorrow and we will get a little break.