Gibson Co. / Trenton, TN was the site for a recent field training and construction field day that was held on a beef cattle farm owned by Cleve Crook on Dec. 5th, 2019. The field day was sponsored by Tennessee Department of Agriculture and The Gibson County Soil Conservation District. The event was targeted to employees in the area to see how contractors & livestock producers, frost free waterer installation, HUA & livestock pipeline should be constructed to meet NRCS standards and specs. This training proved very valuable to the newer employees who have never seen these type practices installed and given new insight to seasoned employees that forgot a step in the construction process of these practices. Approximately 60 people attended this event. Doug Taylor with TDA, Doug Davis / Gibson Co. SCD Chairman, Tammy Swihart / NRCS State Grazing Specialist, along with Gregg Brann / TACD Grazing Specialist & Clay Brewer / Stay Tuff Fencing Representative attended the event. NRCS Resource Conservationists / Matthew Denton & Gary Blackwood from the Jackson Area Office welcomed the attendees to the livestock construction training site. Gibson County NRCS District Conservationist / Dustin Graham kicked the training off by explaining how to install a cattle livestock pipeline by hooking onto a county water source supply or a well and properly plumb it up with a 10’ x 10’ Heavy Use Area, HUA so that a frost-free cattle waterer could be mounted onto the HUA. These practices had already been started prior to this field day and the pipeline trench had been left open for viewing. The HUA pad had already been sub graded down 6”, 8 oz. geo cloth fabric laid, and 33-C limestone rock put in place on half of the pad that was around the 10’ x 10’ HUA / 2” x 10” treated boards were used for this to form a square for the concrete pad. A 15” black, double wall pipe had been left standing up in the center of the HUA pad to show how it works as a heat well so that the waterer does not freeze up during the winter by upward air flow from geothermal heat. While the group went off to a separate pasture site on the farm, the producer finished filling the HUA with 33-C limestone rock for later viewing.
Next, the group was entertained by Tammy Swihart and Gregg Brann who showed the group what to look for in a pasture while doing the step & point method to come up with a pasture condition score for a given pasture. The group then broke off in groups and went out and came up with a pasture condition score for the site. After this had been done, we all met back up with Tammy & Gregg. They then had a hole dug out with a shovel to show how to go through and complete the soils portion of the overall score.
The group then went back to view the HUA site and see how it would look with the gravel all spread and in place. Besides being able to see the concrete be poured and the frost-free water tank mounted to the center of the HUA, the group got to see how these practices were implemented.
Next, the group got to watch Clay Brewer, representative with Stay Tuff Fencing Company start a section of fence that would go across the center of the waterer to separate it so it could be used by the cattle from each side of the pastures. Clay demonstrated how to install the brace pens and H-Brace assemblies from a treated post that had been set outside of where the concrete would be poured. He then showed how to properly wrap the woven wire around the post and fasten off so that the fence could be stretched. Next, Clay showed how to stretch approximately 100 feet of fence in the correct direction according to how the H – brace assemblies were installed.
Lastly, the group drove back to the Trenton NRCS field office and enjoyed a catered meal together.