Top 5 things you might not know about Dal's Faculty of Agriculture

A Dal News Top 5

- December 7, 2012

The Cox Greenhouse at the Agricultural Campus.
The Cox Greenhouse at the Agricultural Campus.

It's been four months since Dal officially welcomed the Faculty of Agriculture and the Agricultural Campus. As we approach the end of the term, we felt it timely to ask Stephanie Rogers, part of the communications team in Truro, to share five things you may not know about life on Dal’s campus in Truro/Bible Hill.

1. The Faculty of Agriculture has a Men’s and Women’s Woodsmen team.

The Dalhousie Rams Woodsmen are one of only six collegiate lumberjacking teams in the country. The team began in 1964 with an enthusiastic group of seven Aggies (see no. 5) and has grown to become one of the faculty’s most successful sports teams. The Agricultural Campus has a long winning history in woodsmen sports. Each February, we host the final Canadian Intercollegiate Lumberjacking Association competition in Truro, where more 20 teams from Canada and the northeastern United States compete for one of the most prestigious titles in Canadian University Lumberjacking.

2. The Faculty of Agriculture has a working farm.

The Agricultural Campus is home to a large-scale, fully operational farm where students and researchers alike have a wide range of hands-on opportunities for learning and study. A variety of animal species are housed on-site in facilities that enable researchers to investigate everything from the impact of various feed supplements on body weight increase to milking and harvesting technologies. In December, during the holidays, our farm becomes a Living Manger for a local church, with nearly 300 people in attendance.

3. The Faculty of Agriculture has an organic demonstration farm.

The Faculty of Agriculture provides seasonal and storage crops for consumption at its on-campus dining facility through a two-acre, on-site organic demonstration farm called 'Chef’s Garden.' The Chef’s Garden project was initiated by one of our students (now graduated), Meghan Summers, to encourage campus sustainability. Meghan completed her fourth-year project with a proposal to turn the field behind Banting Building into a market garden on campus. That seed was planted and we now boast a 1.1-acre (121’ x 400’) Chef’s Garden to produce food for campus dining using organic principles and a mandate for sustainability.

4. The Faculty of Agriculture has an on-campus steam plant that fuels big savings.

Last year the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Central Heating Plant produced over 75 per cent of its total stream output by burning 8,000 tons of wood chips which cost $940,000 less than the comparable cost of fuel oil. The biomass ash by-product generated from the steam plant is used as a liming material on the Faculty’s agricultural land to raise pH.

5. The Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture students and alumni refer to themselves as Aggies.

The nickname Aggie is common at land-grant or agriculture schools and is a short form of “agricultural.” The term is used to describe students and alumni. “Aggies once, Aggies twice…” is the beginning of a popular student chant that is often heard at Ram sporting events. Pam Williams, director of Dal’s International Centre, refers to herself as an Aggie, having graduated from the University of Guelph.

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