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Campus News

Harvest service includes animals, a decades-old tradition

Micah Wilkins, Staff Writer (mwilkins@wwc)

In the Harvest Service, which was held in the chapel on Nov. 21, animals from the farm made up a part of the service.

According to Farm Manager Chase Hubbard, students on the Farm Crew took animals from the farm and from their normal pastures to the chapel, for “meaningful, educational” reasons. The Thanksgiving harvest display has included animals from the farm for 77 years, a tradition which began with Bernhard Laursen, the college’s first farm manager in1933, the College Pastor Steve Runholt said in his sermon.

The use of animals in the service, according to Hubbard, is meant to be symbolic of the union between the “early pioneers” of the college and the animals.

“Without livestock, the early leaders of this college would have had little to eat, and we would not be here today if it was not for the meat raised in the early days of the farm,” Hubbard said in an e-mail. “There was no Ingles, no Greenlife, etc.”

Animals are taken from their normal pastures on two occasions, said Hubbard. One is the conservation field days, in which more than 600 students learn about sustainable agriculture in Clingman’s pasture, and the other is the Thanksgiving service. However, Hubbard said, it is important for students to learn how the school operated, and the fact that growing food was a necessity.

“Farming is a huge part of our heritage at this college,” Hubbard said. “We will continue to celebrate the role farm animals play in our lives.”

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