Gordonville Farm Featured in Farmers Conference

Published 9:30 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

Driving up the entrance to the Warren and Mary DuCre farm, onlookers notice the stars of the day grazing and bleating at passers-by. A herd just shy of 70 goats roam the farm in Gordonsville. In the background, a group of people walk through a large tunnel house used for year-round row crop production.

“Warren DuCre is going to discuss growing small ruminants, and he will share some of his methods for preparing the soil in his hoop house. The DuCres will share the techniques they implement after participating in various Cooperative Extension workshops,” said George Hunter. Hunter, ANR Coordinator for the Black Belt Region with Tuskegee University Extension.

“They are raising enough meat goats and row crops to provide products for Lowndes County residents. They are learning ways to be safe with produce and animal production. They are learning marketing skills, and they are making connections with Lowndes County families,” Hunter said.

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Victor Khan, PhD., Research Associate, plant breeder, with Tuskegee University said the DuCre tunnel house offered a good example of how to irrigate crops.

Khan said, “Drip irrigation is very important when using a tunnel house because the tunnel keeps rainwater from getting to the crops. Why a drip irrigation system versus a sprinkler system? Well in an enclosed place, you don’t want the water on leaves of a plant which could encourage bacteria or fungal growth on the crops. Drip irrigation is the most efficient system.”

The farm visit was scheduled for March 31, the last day of the Tuskegee University 131st Annual Farmers Conference. The event offered dozens of workshops on such topics as Sivopasture and Climate Smart Practices for Small Ruminant Producers and Black Belt Marketing and Innovation Center and local Marketing Initiatives.

“To live a day without learning is to waste a day,” said Warren DuCre as he waited for one of the workshops. His wife agreed, “There is always so much new research to learn,” she said.