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Patty Hart

Patty Hart

Patty Hart-Ahonen:

 

Well when we purchased the property four years ago the fences were in a very very poor condition. They’d kind of been held together with bailing twine and prayers. And we knew we needed help and we were trying to figure out the best way to be able to afford everything that needed to be done. I had a friend that was working at the time for NRCS and she was the one who told me about the program.

 

We applied in the fall, which wasn’t a time we were going to be working on the fencing anyways, so we got all the applications done in the fall. And by that first spring we were ready to go. It was such a big project it was broken up into 14 separate projects and the fencing and the waterers were all different projects. The idea for us was to finish one project at a time. As far as the fencing went, because the contract concerned perimeter fencing we broke it up into two sections. So the section directly behind me we did last summer and we just finished the other section this summer.

 

Danny Peet, NRCS Soil Conservationist:

 

Well what I saw was some eroding headcuts up into her fields and I saw some very poor grasses in her pastures and some very poor grasses in her hay fields. We went ahead and planned a prescribed grazing plan for her which included fence and water tubs and pipelines. And in the process of planning that we also know we’re going to get better grasses in her pastures and we also know that we’re stabilizing those headcuts that were traveling up into her pasture.

 

She wasn’t fully utilizing her whole pasture, now she can and now she will. And she’ll rest some of these paddocks and some of these better grasses will have a chance to grow.

 

Patty Hart-Ahonen:

 

Oh we’ve been very pleased. There is no way we could have done this amount of work in this amount of time without the financial backing as well as the guidance and the help to do so. They’ve done a great job with us and I don’t know a lot about what else they do, but they’ve been absolutely amazing with us and the difference is just incredible. It’s been a big relief to know that the horses are going to stay in their pastures and that they’re not going to lose shoes and pull tendons. So from that perspective it’s been really important. On a day to day basis it’s improved everything on the farm.