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Grazing season begins at Susquehanna University

Some popular residents have returned to Susquehanna University, but they aren't college students. Forty sheep spend part of the year at the university's solar array.

SELINSGROVE, Pa. — It just might be a dream come true for a flock of sheep—14 acres of grass. And this flock has it all to themselves. They "work" at Susquehanna University's solar array.

"Their job is to graze. A sheep will eat, not just grass, but they'll eat weeds and all kinds of vegetation," explained Caroline Owens from Owens Farm.

The solar array was built in 2018 outside Selinsgrove. It generates about three megawatts of electricity.

"That equates to about 30 percent of what we use on our campus," said Derek Martin, Susquehanna University Assistant Director of Sustainability.

this is a lot of grass to take care of. In 2019 Susquehanna University partnered with Owens Farm, near Sunbury. The sheep are there from April until November.

Wednesday marked the start of the grazing season, and it's almost as if these guys and gals knew what was coming.

"If you look at all the jobs that a sheep could have, this is number one," said Owens.

The partnership is a win-win for everyone.

"We're eliminating the need for lawnmowing, which eliminates fossil fuels that need to be used on this property. At the same time, the sheep also fertilize our soil," said Martin.

When you use a lawnmower, it just cuts the grass short. But the sheep actually improve the soil's health while they do the job.

"They're sequestering carbon. They're dropping manure, even their hoof action puts oxygen into the soil, and it benefits the microorganisms," Owens said.

In total, 40 sheep will work at Susquehanna University this year.