The REFRESH project has provided hands-on experiences for students and exposure to best practices for improving conservation and soil heath properties. The additional measures taken by the College to improve the current cover-crop applied research being conducted on this field, has helped to increase students’ understanding for a variety of soil health factors as well as plant science and best practices in improving yield potential while preserving the environment. The College has made additional investments to remove the remainder of the troublesome tree line and extend the strip of ground where native warm season grasses were planted, along with plants and flowers that promote pollinators. Students have been involved in farm experience labs to help prepare the seed beds for the project and in doing so have increased their understanding of the purpose and benefits of the project.
A summary of the project was presented and viewed at the Cover Crop Field day which occurred on November 8, 2017, providing an overview of the impact of the project on the College’s Cover Crop field. Additionally, the project was used for instruction and hands-on experience in the following classes: AGRI 2400/AGRI2410 Forage, Pasture and Grassland Production Class and Lab and AGRI 1025 Farm Experience Lab. These real-life experiences teach students the importance of conservation and utilize the College’s 500-acre farm as a living learning laboratory.