Forage Management: I’m Headed to Nashville

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Gary Bates

Dr. Gary Bates
Department Head and Professor, Plant Sciences
Director, UT Beef & Forage Center
P: 865-974-7324

Sometimes I get inspired to write songs.  Maybe it’s because I live in Tennessee and go to Nashville.  But whatever the reason, I think I have the potential to become a really famous songwriter.  And you can say you knew me before I became famous.  Here is my first song.  You should sing it to the tune of The Ballad of Jed Clampett, theme song for the Beverly Hillbillies.

Let me tell you a story ‘bout a guy named Bates.
He wanted to go to college and he couldn’t hardly wait.
And then came the time for him to go off to school
To study to raise cattle ‘cause that was really cool.
Beef, that is. Tbone steaks. Ribeyes, too.
He started his classes and time began to pass.
And then one day he took a forage class.
He learned how plants turn sunlight into food.
He decided to make a change, knew what he wanted to do.
            Grass, that it. Fescue, Bermuda. Clovers, too.
Almost 40 years later here’s what he has learned.
Using sunlight to grow grass is how money you will earn.
Don’t graze too close or mow your hay too low.
‘Cause if you do the forage growth you will slow.
Sunlight is the key. Captured and used. Photosynthesis, dude.

G. Bates

Kinda catchy, if I do say so myself. Everyone should memorize this song and sing it over and over. That way you will remember to raise your hay mower and to not overgraze pastures.

And in case you’re wondering, I’m available for weddings and birthday parties.