Field day takes students for a roll in the hay

August 31, 2007

by Lacy Patton

Goldman Equipment sponsored this year’s Bermuda grass field day June 12 on South Campus.

Bermuda grass is a type of grass grown in the South.

Kevin Flattmann, a senior accounting manager for sales at Goldman Equipment, said he had multiple reasons for choosing Tech to host the field day instead of five other locations.

“I chose Tech for its locations and credibility, the ease of working with the faculty and the professional atmosphere,” Flattmann said.

The hay industry has become large, Flattmann said and there is much activity involved in this part of Louisiana, such as baling hay for livestock.

Gary Kennedy, department head and a professor of agricultural sciences, said one of the first activities of the day included lunch for everyone.

Kennedy said that turnout was good, and that the field day was a great success.

“It was excellent,” Kennedy said. “We had set up tables and chairs for about 70 people, and I think we had around 75.”

Kennedy said after a video, a hayride took the attendees to a field near Lomax Hall where the demonstrations were held.

Goldman Equipment also got the chance to showcase a new John Deere baler, that picks up the hay from the ground and compacts the hay into round bales.

Adam Ortego, a senior agriculture education major and intern at Goldman Equipment in Shreveport, pointed out what the new baler did.

“It puts net wrap around the bale to protect it from the weather and preserve it,” Ortego said.

He also said the new net wrap covers the bale much better than the traditional method of using twine and is much quicker.

“A baler that uses twine takes 33 seconds to tie the string. The new baler that uses net wrap does it in six seconds,” Ortego said.
Flattmann said the field day benefitted many local farmers.

“We want to give our customers and potential customers more of a basis of knowledge on the proper operation of baling equipment and the options that are available on baling equipment,” Flattmann said.

Kennedy said the demonstrations at the field day were excellent.

“The producers that were there made the comment to me that they knew of Coastal or Alicia [grass] or a certain variety but had not been able to compare those varieties to some of the newer varieties,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said that Tech has been doing spring field days with cool season forages, and this was the first summer forages field day.

Kennedy said, “It was so well received, we will probably do it again.”