Grant Award: $6,000 —Mechanization for Reducing Labor and Increasing Safety
Chris and Amy purchased a front end loader for their tractor to aid in the expansion of their cattle, goat and vegetable farm. Reduced labor allows them to add more head to their herd and expand their produce, such as cabbage, sweet corn and winter squash. It also greatly increases safety and reduces farm injuries.
With the front end loader, Chris uses a hay spear and grapple for livestock feeding. He can also use a pallet fork for moving, loading and transporting materials and heavy produce such as winter squash, as well as a bucket for moving
manure, dirt, rocks and culled produce.
Chris and Amy primarily sells to the non-profit food hub, TRACTOR Food and Farms as well as to regional livestock auctions. He hopes to eventually start offering on-farm sales of USDA inspected meat.
Chris grew up on a tobacco and Christmas tree farm. “Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were of my parents, brothers, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends and neighbors working together on each other’s farms helping to get in the harvest,” Chris said.
“The togetherness and feeling of accomplishment I get when I harvest crops I have planted or watch livestock I have cared for give birth to a new generation is what gives me the love and drive to continue my family’s farming tradition,” he said.