A new lease on Eden Shale

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Farmers ride the range to spruce up Owen County site

By The Staff

In June 2012, the University Of Kentucky College Of Agriculture suspended operations of the Eden Shale Research Farm due to budget constraints. UK later contacted the Kentucky Beef Network with the opportunity to manage the farm. The opportunity was discussed by Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association’s leadership and an open forum was held in October of 2012 to discuss the opportunity. A majority vote led KBN to pursue the farm and the official agreement will be finalized within the next few days.
“The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has given KBN a wonderful opportunity to continue daily operations and management decisions for the Eden Shale Research Farm,” said KBN Chairman Bobby Foree.
This opportunity will allow KBN to continue its mission of helping Kentucky farmers increase farm revenue with innovative management practices and concepts through demonstrations put in place on the farm.”
On April 12, farmers from across Kentucky gathered at the Eden Shale farm in Owen County to mend fence and survey the farm. Attendees brought off-road equipment to navigate the rolling hills of the farm and were split into small groups to ride fence lines. This was one of the first official outings to the farm since the Kentucky Beef Network officially agreed to a cooperative agreement with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture for the use of the farm.
The fence day is one of the first steps in preparing the farm for future KBN endeavors.  KBN managers are currently developing a plan that best suits the land and the goals of the Kentucky Beef Network. They are not only looking to have cattle on the land, but also considering how to utilize the farm as a place to demonstrate innovative production practices that would benefit Kentucky farmers.
The Owen County Cattlemen’s Association prepared a chili lunch for all of the participants. KBN Director Becky Thompson recognized the hard work that went into making this first work day a big success. “I’m thankful  for all the farmers that were able to spend time away from their personal farms to help us prepare the Eden Shale Farm for daily operations,” Thompson said.