Workshops

Our program features people who put into practice skills and philosophies that advance this initiative on a daily basis. We have put together a full weekend of workshops, panel discussions, draft animal presentations, and equipment demonstrations that will provide enough inspiration and information to encourage a full year of worthy endeavors.

2010 NEAPFD Workshop Descriptions

Friday October 15th, 2010

Location: Howevale Farm

Time: 10:00 am- 4:00 pm *Registration opens at 8:00 am, opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 am

Working Demonstrations of Field Work and Logging:
We will be conducting tillage, forage harvesting, and logging activities at Howevale Farm, adjacent to the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. There will be animal-powered equipment, from current manufacturers and innovators, exhibited and demonstrated in real working situations, with horses, oxen, and mules. In conjunction, there will be opportunities for attendees to gain intensive exposure; focusing on skills, techniques, and applications of the featured equipment by regional experts. Equipment manufacturers and representatives will also be on hand to answer questions and to highlight design features of their pieces being demonstrated. Animal-Powered Farming and Logging Equipment Demonstrations: Our teamsters will be showcasing a wide variety of new and innovative logging and farming equipment, designed for use with draft animals. There will be a selection of items from well-known manufacturers including I&J, White Horse Machine, Pioneer, Shipshe Manufacturing., Forest Products Manufacturing, Payeur, DR Mower, Oliver Plows, and innovations including the Barden Cart, the Cowdry Piggy-Back Arch, and many more.

Field Work: We will have oxen, horses, and mules working singly, double, and in multiple hitches. There will be demonstrations of walking and riding cultivators, walking plows, chisel plows, sulky plows, harrows, horse-drawn mowing machines, and ground-driven and motorized fore-carts, tedders, rakes, manure spreaders, and a horse-drawn motorized brush-hog. Experienced teamsters will show the important skills and techniques required to perform these tasks in a practical setting. There will be discussion around conditioning animals to motorized equipment, rigging multiple hitches, issues of stamina and power needs for field-work. Attendees will have the opportunity to observe, and interact with teamsters and their animals working, as they address the circumstances that limit this kind of work, such as equipment adjustment, harnessing choices, land and soil conditions, and working cadence.

Timber Harvesting: We will have several teams of horses and oxen working in a nearby woodlot, harvesting hemlock sawlogs, and hardwood for fuel. Teamsters will demonstrate the skills necessary to effectively work animals in the woods. Equipment demonstrated will include logging arches/carts, bobsleds, scoots, and forwarders being used during timber harvest. Attendees will see first hand the techniques that animal-powered loggers practice, such as directional felling, skid trail layout, cutting logs for market, ground skidding logs, setting up landing areas, addressing access issues like stream crossings, and moving logs long distances.

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Location: Tunbridge Fairgrounds (See map on page ___ to find Buildings where workshops are held)

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Memorial Arena

9:00 – 10:45 am – Equine Trainers Forum I – Donn Hewes, Bekah Bailey, and Neal Perry:
Quick fixes to everyday problems. How do you evaluate a horses’ past experience and identify problem areas to address? These farming trainers will work with several horses at various levels of training, including one never harnessed, to demonstrate these concepts.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Working Oxen – Howard Van Ord, Brian Patten, Ray Morvan, Ray Cote, and Terry Chamberlin will cover details of yoking and working oxen, including demonstrations of a single yoke, britchen, 4-ox hitch, starting calves, and discuss the use of various pieces of equipment.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Equine Trainers Forum II – Donn Hewes, Bekah Bailey, and Neal Perry:
What foundational steps are important in the training process to ensure that your horse has the tools to accept new situations and experiences with ease? These farming trainers will work with several horses at various levels of training, including one never harnessed, to further demonstrate concepts discussed in the morning workshop.

Outdoor Show Ring

9:00 – 10:45 am – Equipment Innovations – Mark Cowdrey, John Plowden, and Andy Carson will share both specific and general thoughts about their experiences developing new, or adapting existing equipment for draft animal use. John & Mark have developed logging equipment & Andy is working on a spring based draft buffer.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Ground Drive Mower Tune-up – Donn Hewes, Jay Bailey will cover important points of mower maintenance and adjustment, including guards, register, lead, and other important adjustments.  They will have a mower to work with.  Mowing should be fun, not a battle.  Your mower needs to be in shape, and should run and sound like a sewing machine.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Loose Hay – Jay Bailey
Jay Bailey will give a slide show presentation and discussion about putting up loose hay with horses at Fair Winds Farm where they use a variety of ground driven mowers, tedders, rakes, a hay loader, and a hay fork to get the hay into the loft. Jay will discuss technique, systems, safety, and will answer your questions!

Plowing Area

9:00 – 10:45 am – Sulky Plow Considerations – Sam Rich and Ted Russell
This year accomplished plowmen Sam Rich and Ted Russell will discuss issues relating to set-up, adjustments & selection for sulky plows.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Cultivating – David Fisher, Stephen Leslie
David and Stephen will share in detail their  approaches to achieving success with weed control in the vegetable fields on their respective farms. They will discuss and demonstrate cultivation techniques with horses an walk-behind single-row, and riding two-row, cultivators.  Both approaches have been key components of excellent weed control on these farms.  Expect to come away with a host of useful tips on mechanically controlling weeds on your farm.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Working the Single Horse – Brad Johnson
Brad will discuss the various opportunities to utilize a single horse on a small, diversified farm. He will demonstrate equipment, while discussing how to keep one animal busy and in shape throughout the year, covering the amount of work a single can handle, as well as harness and gear choices.

Judging Arena

9:00 – 10:45 am – D-Ring Harness: Practical Application and Troubleshooting – Les Barden
Les will present a demonstration of the design and function of the D-ring harness. Working with invited horse-owners, Les will help them to adjust and/or modify their harnesses to the appropriate fit.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Beginner Driving Skills – Bekah Bailey will cover pre-driving exercises for people interested in exploring the art of becoming a teamster.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Shoeing Oxen – Ray Cote, Bucky Cole, Brian Patten
There are certain uses where it makes sense to have your oxen shod. These experienced ox-men will discuss the benefits of shoeing oxen, and using stocks, they will demonstrate oxen hoof care and shoeing techniques.

Bingo Hall

9:00 – 10:45 am – Grazing Basics: Jennifer Colby
Whether you graze draft horses, oxen or goats, rotational grazing is a management tool that can work well for you.  Jenn Colby of the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Pasture Program will discuss some of the basic “rules of the pasture” to set your system up for success.  We will also leave time for questions and discussion around specific livestock and farm challenges.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Co-operative Animal-powered Timber Harvest: Ben Canonica, Kevin Rea
Ben and Kevin worked together during the summer of 2010, along with Brad Johnson and Carl Russell, on a logging job where they all brought their own individual resources to share. They will cover the specifics of how the job worked out, the forestry objectives, and marketing. They will also lead a discussion of how this model may help to promote more animal-powered timber harvesting throughout the region.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Equine Health and Maintenance Forum – Jennifer Judkins et al.
This will be a panel presentation/discussion concerning the care and feeding of our equine partners.  Topics to be discussed are nutrition, housing, pasture management, preventative measures, and common ailments and their treatment.

Dodge-Gilman Building

9:00 – 10:45 am – Animal-Powered Farming Systems – David Fisher
David began farming 13 years ago with Anne and Eric Nordell’s operation serving as his main farm model.  In this workshop, David will discuss the keys to structuring his farm for success, while focusing on the myriad of uses for his horses.  Expect to come away from this workshop with some good ideas on how to improve the effectiveness of animal-power on your farm.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Horse Power Farm – 2010 NEAPFD Feature Farmer Paul Birdsall will present a slide-show on farming with horses at Horse Power Farm, to generate discussion about getting started farming with horses.

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Transition Towns: Increasing Community Resilience in a Time of Change
Carl Etnier, George Lisi, and Annie McCleary The Transition movement is a vibrant, international, grassroots initiative to build sustainable community as we face the inevitable challenges of climate change, oil depletion, and economic instability. In this workshop, learn and discuss how Transition can help strengthen your community in a changing world.

Pole Barn

9:00 – 10:45 am – Ox Teamsters Forum – Howard Van Ord, Brian Patten, Ray Cote, Ray Morvan, Terry Chamberlin will lead a question and answer forum about their experiences using oxen for work.

11:15 am – 1:00 pm – Equine Hoof Care Forum – TBA

3:00 pm – 4:45 pm – Working Animal Suitability – Carl Russell, Mark Cowdrey, and Ted Russell will discuss the suitability of different types of draft animals in regard to differing needs and tasks in farming and logging.  This workshop is meant to help new (and old) draft animal farmers and loggers decide what makes the most sense for what they need to accomplish, and how to go about purchasing a draft animal intended for work.

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

8:00 am – 2:00 pm – Open Time for Exhibitors and Teamsters to show equipment, swap meet, food vendors, individual opportunity to work with teamsters, possible obstacle course.

11:00 am – 11:45 am – History of Vermont Agriculture; Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee,
Roger is a student of Vermont agricultural history.  He has been studying the old yearbooks of agriculture that go back to the 1800’s and other related documents. What he has discovered is that many of the forces of change are similar today even as Vermont has evolved from a largely subsistence farming state before railroads in the 1850’s, to the commercial agriculture that continues today. Come and learn more about Vermont agriculture. There will be time for questions.

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Draft Animal Power Network 1st Annual Meeting, located in Dodge Gilman Building
Since its first field days in 2007, the Northeast Animal-Power Field Days has provided a wonderful venue for people to gather, share, discuss, demonstrate skills & equipment, and build networks and community among like-minded people.  In order for this event to continue, it needs to be housed within an organization with the direction and energy of many.  This organization can then further the outreach and resources through year ‘round activities such as: a newsletter, regional workshops or field days, an active website to archive articles, resources and other important pieces information, etc. At the DAPNET membership meeting, with the help of a facilitator, we hope to hear from YOU. Please join DAPNET (see page ___) and become an active part of it’s future.

2:30 pm – Closing Comments, located at Hospitality Tent