"Reedy Fork Farms recently welcomed a biology and environmental science student from Elon University to conduct a little local research on agricultural practices and its impact on mammal diversity. [gallery ids=""eyJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczpcL1wvd3d3LnJlZWR5Zm9ya2Zhcm0uY29tXC93cC1jb250ZW50XC91cGxvYWRzXC8yMDE0XC8wOVwvbm9jdHVybmFsLXJvZGVudC1yYWJiaXQuanBnIiwidGl0bGUiOiIiLCJjYXB0aW9uIjoiUmFiYml0IiwiYWx0IjoiIiwiZGVzY3JpcHRpb24iOiIifQ==,eyJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczpcL1wvd3d3LnJlZWR5Zm9ya2Zhcm0uY29tXC93cC1jb250ZW50XC91cGxvYWRzXC8yMDE0XC8wOVwvZGVlci1hdC1yZWVkeS1mb3JrLW9yZ2FuaWMtZmFybS5qcGciLCJ0aXRsZSI6IiIsImNhcHRpb24iOiJEZWVyIiwiYWx0IjoiIiwiZGVzY3JpcHRpb24iOiIifQ==,eyJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczpcL1wvd3d3LnJlZWR5Zm9ya2Zhcm0uY29tXC93cC1jb250ZW50XC91cGxvYWRzXC8yMDE0XC8wOVwvZm94LWh1bnRpbmctbWljZS5qcGciLCJ0aXRsZSI6IiIsImNhcHRpb24iOiJGb3giLCJhbHQiOiIiLCJkZXNjcmlwdGlvbiI6IiJ9""]
Susan’s research indicates that organic farming encourages diversity and sustainability. Five species: house mice, white-tailed deer, coyotes, groundhogs and Eastern cottontails have been documented so far at Reedy Fork, suggesting a diverse mammal population. All these species are common in North Carolina, but less so on farms that don’t practice organic farming. Here’s another good reason to love organic farming!
Susan Masecar used small box traps and trail cameras to document activity of mammal populations on 13 farms in Alamance, Guilford and Rockingham Counties. The mammals’ nocturnal activity was captured on film at a great variety of local farms, ranging in size from 24,000 square meters to 50 square meters. Some farms used pesticides, and some depended on certified organic practices. Some grew only one type of crop, and others grew up to 12 different crops in the same field. The purpose of her research was to identify the impact of different agricultural practices on mammal diversity – an important aspect of ecosystem functioning and sustainability. According to Susan, “Reedy Fork Farm was the perfect addition to my farm set and allowed me to get the range of farms that I was looking for.” Organic Farming and Sustainability. Susan’s research indicates that organic farming encourages diversity and sustainability. Five species: house mice, white-tailed deer, coyotes, groundhogs and Eastern cottontails have been documented so far at Reedy Fork, suggesting a diverse mammal population. All these species are common in North Carolina, but less so on farms that don’t practice organic farming. Here’s another good reason to love organic farming! Maybe house mice aren’t your favorite small creatures, but a mouse in the field provides a good meal for owls, hawks and other predatory birds and animals. Mice eat nearly anything, so they could be consuming pesky weeds and insects.* When any species is substantially decreased or eliminated, the deficit sets off a chain reaction that affects many other species. Susan’s project has brought her to Reedy Fork Farm often. According to Susan, “Now that I’ve been talking with the staff regularly and visiting the farm nearly every day, I know just how friendly and accessible the farm and its staff are! It’s been incredible to see just how far Reedy Fork reaches into the local and regional community as a source of organic grain.” Reedy Fork Farm wishes Susan the very best with her research and career. We appreciate that her latest data shows how beneficial organic farming practices can be for wildlife and ecological practices. She’ll be busy in coming months presenting her research at both agricultural and scientific conferences. Her findings will also be published in a scientific journal. She’s currently applying to vet school and plans on using wildlife medicine to continue working in ecological conservation. Yay for Susan and her very cool research!"