Forget Mowers, PA School Uses Alpacas
Animals will maintain school grounds, enhance curriculum.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: May 31st, 2012
If you're short on cash this summer but you want to keep your lawn perfectly manicured, check out what the Cumberland Valley School District in Pennsylvania is up to—they're using alpacas, emu, and sheep to maintain their schools' grounds and enhance the district's agriculture curriculum.
Six sheep arrived at one of the schools last week to work on the lower half of the two-acre plot, while six alpacas were sent to work on the upper half. The district's emu, named Russell, was moved outside to work with the sheep. Sounds like a pretty good gig for the grazers.
The sheep belong to one of the school's Future Farmers of America (FFA) students, while the emu and the alpacas are part of the school's veterinary and biomedical arts curriculum, said Michael Woods, the agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.
Darwin Kell of Bent Pine Alpaca Farm, which donated the alpacas, said that when he heard the school officials were wondering how to best keep the grass down, he thought his animals would be perfect for the job.
"I love the district, and I think it's important to support the school. The ag program at that school—as far as I'm concerned—is probably one of the best ag programs or school programs of any kind anywhere around...I just wanted to be a part of it."
The animals are being used to trim the grass around the solar panel installations at the schools, and the animals are saving the district an estimated $15,000 a year in groundskeeping fees.