Month: April 2023

17 Apr 2023
vet tech students vaccination cattle in handling facility

Livestock Vaccination

Black angus cow with her calf and a flock of sheep, grazing through lush green pasture, surrounded by tall trees

Our Livestock Vaccine Practices

Vaccinations are an important part of the Herd Health Plan at Greenacres Foundation. Under guidance from our veterinarian, we use two vaccinations on our cattle and sheep every year to prevent diseases and ill health. Greenacres partners with the University of Cincinnati Veterinary Technician program by bringing Vet Tech students on-site to gain practical hands-on experience of vaccinating large animals.

Our Director of Agriculture, Michael Cox tells us that, “the vaccines we use are either ‘killed’, meaning they contains an inactive or ‘killed’ version of the disease causing germ, or ‘modified live’ vaccines, which means they contain a viable virus that can replicate, but it’s attenuated and does not cause disease in the animal. We do not use any mRNA vaccines on our animals”.

vet tech students vaccination cattle in handling facility

“We do not use any mRNA vaccines on our animals.”
Michael Cox, Director of Agriculture

The diseases we protect our animals against are common across the US and many of the infectious bacteria/viruses are naturally found in soil and local wildlife populations. Vaccinations protect our animals from clostridia diseases, respiratory disease and reproductive disease. Clostridia diseases are harbored in soil, typically cause rapid death in unvaccinated animals and are untreatable. ‘Blackleg’ and ‘Pulpy Kidney’ are two common clostridia diseases.

Respiratory diseases such as ‘IBR’ and reproductive disease such as ‘Leptospirosis’ cause lethargy, poor growth, lung damage, infertility and abortion in affected unvaccinated animals.

By vaccinating our livestock we are able to provide a safe and nutritious product to our consumers and ensure our livestock can remain healthy and thrive on our pastures. If you have any questions or concerns about how we raise our animals we always welcome queries and are happy to share our generative practices. You can reach us at

14 Apr 2023
Young Tree of Heaven in Indian Hill woodlands

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven

Young Tree of Heaven in Indian Hill woodlands
Tree of Heaven: an invasive in North America and the preferred host plant of spotted lanternflies

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly and Tree of Heaven:
A Double Threat to Local Ecosystems

Spotted lantern fly is once again making the news since this is the time of the year when their eggs are most visible. This invasive insect species has been spreading across the United States since its first sighting in Pennsylvania in 2014. Unfortunately, it reached Ohio last year, and the extent of this insect’s impact is not fully understood.

The spotted lanternfly is a type of planthopper, which means that it feeds on plant sap using its piercing mouthparts. They can cause significant damage to trees by feeding on their sap, which can weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to disease and other pests, and even killing it in severe cases. One tree to keep an especially close eye on is tree of heaven, a favorite of the lantern fly.

Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs
Tree of Heaven, marked by pink tags, in Indian Hill woods
Tree of Heaven (marked by pink tags): an invasive species to North America and the preferred host plant of Spotted Lanternfly

Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is also an invasive species that has become problematic in many parts of the country, including Ohio. It is highly successful due to its ability to produce clones in addition to over 300,000 seeds per year. These trees are also allelopathic meaning they can secrete chemicals into the soil that inhibit the growth of surrounding native vegetation. Greenacres is currently in the process of developing in-house methods to control tree of heaven.

What can be done to address this double threat to local ecosystems? 

  • Report any sightings of spotted lanternflies or tree of heaven using the form or QR code found at Ohio Department of Agriculture.
  • Remove or treat any tree of heaven growing on your property. This can be done using methods such as herbicides, cutting and stump treatment, or girdling. However, care should be taken not to disturb or harm other plants in the area.
  • Encourage the growth of native plant species in your garden or landscaping. Native plants are adapted to the local environment and provide food and habitat for a variety of insects, birds, and other wildlife.

    By working together, we can help protect our local ecosystems from the negative impacts of invasive species like the spotted lanternfly and tree of heaven. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Greenacres or other local organizations for advice and support. 

    The spotted lanternfly can congregate in large numbers.
    The lanternfly with its wings open.
    12 Apr 2023
    tall metal-framed deer exclosure in the forest in early spring

    Improving Restoration of Forest Understory

    tall metal-framed deer exclosure in the forest in early spring

    Improving Restoration of Forest Understory:

    Experimental Deer Exclosure, Invasive Plant Management, and Enrichment Planting

    Each year, Greenacres Foundation funds research proposals relating to ecology and the environment. One funded project currently underway is through Miami University, examining forest restoration and the impact deer are having on invasive plant management and subsequent native species plantings.

    In the woods on our Indian Hill campus, two deer exclosures were constructed to keep deer out, and each is paired with plots that deer continue to have access to. Two treatments are being applied to the forest floor in each of the test plots: herbicide and no herbicide. Enrichment planting will take place across all plots. Data collection will include survival and growth of both currently occurring  and planted wildflowers and tree seedlings.

    Start Date: Fall 2022
    End Date: Summer 2025
    Budget: $86,496
    Partner: Miami University

    Questions About Greenacres Research?

    If you have questions regarding this project, please contact Jennifer Mansfield at

    If you would like to apply for funding for your research project, click here for more information about our grant funding process.