A thousand words beyond the Hill

Fielder Williams Strain

Close to 10 a.m., John Tako, dairy manager at Western’s Agriculture Research and Education Complex, should have been done putting feed out on the lot three hours ago. But today he has been slowed down by a broken valve on the farm’s John Deere tractor.

If one were to watch Tako work, they would see the knowledge he has acquired over the years in the way he does his daily tasks. He has been working for Western for the past three years, and he has been working on dairy farms for more than 25 years. In that time, he has developed a system for all his daily routines.

As Tako slowly fills a trough, he looks back at the feed loader, watching as the feed gets to a certain height, and then moving forward five feet or so at a time making a nearly level grade the entire length.

And as the morning sun starts to warm things up, he continues to work hard, with his cowboy hat his only shade.

Fielder Strain is a senior photojournalism major from Tullahoma, Tenn. He can be reached at [email protected]