Sheep Teaching and Research Center Receives Spartan Innovator Award

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Alan Culham (right) accepts the 2007 Spartan Innovator Award from Ben Darling at the 27th Annual Farm Managers' Seminar (view larger image)

Alan Culham, manager of the Sheep Teaching and Research Center, grew tired of lifting sheep into the back of a truck to transport them from the center’s South Campus Farms location to classes. So he and his students transformed and old high-low trailer into a trailer that could be pulled with the farm truck. Their ingenuity earned the Sheep Farm the 2007 Spartan Innovator Award, presented at the 2008 Farm Managers’ Seminar in February.

A portable, battery-operated hydraulic pumping system was mounted to the front of the trailer and allows for operation and use without a tractor. The pumping system is portable and can be removed and remounted on other high-low trailers, allowing multiple farms to use the trailer. The trailer has become an indispensable tool at the Sheep Farm; it’s used to transport animals around campus, haul feed and serves as a wash rack when sheep are prepared for exhibition.

The Spartan Innovator Award recognizes the outstanding efforts, positive contributions and achievements in the field by MSU farm, station and property staff members to meet the challenges of regulations, safety, technology, research and funding.

“We have many conscientious, creative and talented people in the MSU/MAES farm, station and property family,” said Ben Darling, assistant director of the Land Management Office. “This award is one small way to let them know that we notice and appreciate what they are doing and that it truly does make a difference.”

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