Old Friends Hosts Field Day, Highlights Pasture Improvements

Last year Old Friends developed and implemented plans for improving all the paddocks on the farm.

Old Friends Hosts Field Day, Highlights Pasture Improvements
Old Friends cares for more than 160 horses across three states whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. | Photo Credit: Jlvsclrk/Wikimedia Commons
On July 15, the 2016 Scott County Farm-City Field Day took place at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown, Kentucky.

In 2015, Old Friends worked with Scott County Cooperative Extension Agent Michelle Simon and the University of Kentucky (UK) Horse Pasture Evaluation Program to evaluate and develop plans for improving all the paddocks on the farm. This field day offered an opportunity to show what improvements have been made and what concepts could transfer to other operations.

The program began with Michael Blowen, Old Friends’ founder and president, and Tim Wilson, Old Friends’ manager, giving an overview of the farm. They discussed some of the unique challenges of running a nonprofit rescue facility as well as common challenges that every horse farm faces, such as high-traffic areas and spot grazing. Ray Smith, PhD, professor and forage extension specialist at UK, then gave a pasture seeding demonstration. He used a medium size no-till drill and a small ATV-compatible drill to demonstrate proper seed placement into an existing pasture.

Then, Simon and Krista Lea, MS, coordinator of UK’s Horse Pasture Evaluation Program, led participants in a hands-on exercise to determine weed control options for different areas based on the weeds and grasses found there. The program concluded with a meal provided by the Scott County Future Farmers of America Alumni and a chance for participants to visit with sponsors before storms ended the evening

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