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グラスファーミングスクール【Grass Farming School】

posted May 28, 2017, 4:18 PM by Yoshitaka Uchida Hokudai

   This time of the year again, the Grass Farming School. It had been started to promote pasture-based farming, and it is for dairy farmers in Japan. I have been learning a lot of things from this school since I came back to Japan. Officially, I am one of the teaching staffs, so I should be teaching rather than learning, but I often ended up learning a lot more than I teach. I feel sorry for the farmers. Also, many of my students have little chance to see 'farms' before their graduation (this is a problem of our curriculum). Thus, this is a great opportunity for my students to get to know the real part of agriculture. 
   This year, we performed a field demonstration about 'soil aggregates', and I did a short lecture on nutrient-budgeting. With my students' great help, we managed to do a good job. When farmers told me that it was good lecture, I am simply very happy. A great moment as an agricultural scientist. 
   A famous farm called 'Bocca' hosted the school this year, and we enjoyed cheese and yoghurt made by pasture-based milk. Well, a mother of a new-born baby takes care of what she eats, and the same thing is true for cows. The milk tasted different depending on what the cows were eating. I have never compared milk from pasture-eating cows and grain-eating cows side-by-side, so it was a great experience.