Low-input Sustainable Dairy Farming Through Draft Horse Power

Final Report for FNE98-206

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1998: $1,825.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,315.00
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
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Project Information


Mr. Trainor offered workshops on animal traction. He has some expertise in this area, since he works his 112-acre dairy farm solely with literal horse-power. This is principally a matter of personal preference for Mr. Trainor, but he also has a very sound financial reason for doing so—by eschewing tractors, combines, and such, he has managed to avoid incurring the sort of debt that burdens so many dairymen. He finds his way of farming both satisfying and sustainable, and he wanted to show it to others.

Mr. Trainor offered two workshops, one in the spring, one in the fall. He preferred to keep them small, and accepted only four people for the first workshop, and three for the second. Participants at each session spent several days on his farm, learning the rudiments of handling horses and the equipment that goes with them. Training included skidding logs, harrowing, disking, spreading lime and manure, and harvesting.

The participants were not farmers. By and large they appear to have been city people nursing a bucolic dream. How many of them actually take up dairy farming remains to be seen, but in any case they now have a clearer notion of what it is that they may be getting into.


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  • Tim Bowset


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.