ORCHARD GRASS HAY
EDUCATIONAL FIELD TRIPS
ALL NATURAL BEEF, PORK AND CHICKEN
Horsmon Farm is a 4th generation farm, now under the stewardship of JR and Cathy Cosgrove, who is the daughter of Dickie and Phyllis Horsmon. JR and Cathy continue to raise the beautiful mums and pumpkins that Horsmon Farm is known for. And they’ve expanded the farm, adding farm raised meats and educational farm activities and tours.
The Cosgroves raise Black Angus Cattle, known to produce high quality beef. The cattle are finished on grass pastures that are planted seasonally to thrive in the unique Southern Maryland climate. To keep the cattle friendly and make the weaning process more smooth, the cattle are given “candy” (grain). Positive reinforcement is always better than stressing the animals.
The Pasture Raised Pigs are a mixed breed, generally a heritage breed crossed with a modern breed. This selective breeding helps to ensure a healthy animal that will produce the best quality tasting pork. The pigs have free choice of high quality grain feed and constant access to pasture where they are able to root and forage for their favorite treats like chickweed and acorns.
Chickens also enjoy foraging for bugs and plants, which is exactly what they get to do at Horsmon Farm. Like the pigs, the chickens diet is supplemented with grain. All animals on the farm have access to fresh water.
Agriculture Education is an important aspect of Horsmon Farm. During the fall season, the farm offers many fun family activities on the weekends. Cathy Cosgrove hosts field trips during the weekdays for both public and private schools as well as daycares. Pre-school aged children will learn that the food they eat every day comes from a farm and NOT just from the grocery store. Older students learn the purpose of animals on the farm and how good agricultural practices help protect the environment.
JR and Cathy Cosgrove were awarded the 2015 Calvert County Soil Conservationists of the Year.
CALVERT COUNTY SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT'S ANNUAL REPORT
The Cosgrove Family receives the 2015 Cooperator of the Year award for their implementation of conservation practices while simultaneously transitioning to a different agricultural operation. The Cosgrove Family owns one farm and operates four others in Saint Leonard. The 55-acre Horsmon Farm has been a family farm for four generations.
JR Cosgrove, wife Cathy, two children Kaitlyn and Wesley, and father-in-law Richard Horsmon work together on Horsmon Farm. Horsmon Farm provides a variety of agricultural products including mums, pumpkins, gourds, straw, hay, beef, pork, and chickens along with a variety of agritourism activities.
JR Cosgrove grew up raising tobacco and grain and became a cooperator in 2010. Before the current agritourism, livestock, and hay operation, the farm grew tobacco. JR’s mother-in-law Phyllis Horsmon was the driving force to diversify the farm away from tobacco and focus on mums and fall products. JR and Cathy have expanded on the fall sales to include agritourism and meats.
JR is currently working with the District to self-install his current contract for fence, a watering facility, and pasture planting through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). He has innovatively planted Bermudagrass as a warm
season forage for grazing under this contract. He also participated in a previous EQIP contract for self- installed practices, which included pasture plantings, fencing, a watering facility, and a roof runoff structure. These contracts have ensured conservation is a key element throughout Horsmon Farm’s agricultural operation.
JR participated in the Maryland Department of Agriculture Cover Crop program in 2014 and 2015 and he has utilized the District’s Equipment Rental Program. He has implemented practices such as waste utilization, crop rotation, forage harvest management, residue management, and stripcropping. Future operational and conservation goals include expanding spring agritourism opportunities and a waste management structure.
For incorporating conservation throughout the operational changes of Horsmon Farm, the Cosgrove Family is presented the 2015 Cooperator of the Year.