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Two football Blue Raiders proving to be ‘tre...

Two football Blue Raiders proving to be ‘tremendous assets’ tackling MTSU farmwork

Roommates and MTSU football teammates Wilson Kelly and Seth Falley have agricultural backgrounds. Falley spent most of his life around horses and farming in his native Kansas. From rural Kentucky, Wilson grew up around animals and equipment.

When Falley and later Kelly inquired about bringing their size, strength and experience to assist at the MTSU Farm Laboratory in Lascassas, Tennessee, and the beef and swine units near the VA in Murfreesboro, Farm Labs Director Matthew Wade couldn’t say yes fast enough.

“They have fit right in with all the other student workers we have working this summer,” Wade said. “They’ve been a tremendous asset to us since they joined and been a part of our team.”

MTSU Farm Labs Director Matthew Wade, left, and student workers Seth Falley and Kelly Wilson share a laugh recently in a barn area for tractors at the farm and dairy in Lascassas, Tenn. Falley, who is from Haysville, Kan., and Wilson, who is from Danville, Ky., are backup centers for the MTSU Blue Raiders football team. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
MTSU Farm Labs Director Matthew Wade, left, and student workers Seth Falley and Kelly Wilson share a laugh recently in a barn area for tractors at the farm and dairy in Lascassas, Tenn. Falley, who is from Haysville, Kan., and Wilson, who is from Danville, Ky., are backup centers for the MTSU Blue Raiders football team. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The players were looking for an active alternative away from football before summer practice begins. Wade’s always searching for outstanding student workers at the 435-acre farm — also known as the MTSU Experiential Learning and Research Center — featuring a dairy providing milk for the MTSU Creamery, crops and garden, unmanned aircraft systems research and more.

“They both have farm backgrounds. Seth jumped on the tractor the first day and took off like he’d been doing it all his life and, apparently, he had. Wilson had been on some smaller equipment. We put him on some bigger things. He proved himself well. Like many football players and athletes, they weren’t afraid of the challenge at all. They have jumped in and done a superb job for us.”

It’s been an eye-opening experience for Kelly, a 6-foot, 300-pound redshirt freshman.

“I’ve learned a lot of new things about agriculture, working with animals and running machinery. Being out on a farm is a lot more than what most people think,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but there’s the science behind it — reasons why certain things are done a certain way. Mr. Wade has helped me when I’ve not necessarily known what to do and guided me in the right direction.”

MTSU football players Seth Falley, left, of Haysville, Kan., and Wilson Kelly of Danville, Ky., provide leadership at the MTSU Farm Laboratories, overseeing the feeding and care of animals and driving heavy equipment to complete tasks. Student workers are important to the success of the farm, dairy and beef and swine units. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
MTSU football players Seth Falley, left, of Haysville, Kan., and Wilson Kelly of Danville, Ky., provide leadership at the MTSU Farm Laboratories, overseeing the feeding and care of animals and driving heavy equipment to complete tasks. Student workers are important to the success of the farm, dairy and beef and swine units. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Football and ag backgrounds

Both young men are backup centers on the Blue Raiders’ offensive line, playing behind starter Jordan Palmer.

Falley, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior from Haysville, Kansas, transferred to MTSU in January from Butler Community College. He entered MTSU with a 3.2 GPA and is an agribusiness major in the School of Agriculture. He keeps a pocket knife handy and wears a cowskin holster that holds a pair of pliers he often uses.

Falley grew up working with horses, maintenance and machinery at Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue & Retirement, a business co-owned by his aunt, Karen Everhart, and uncle, David Everhart, in Junction City, Kansas. His grandfather owned 500 acres — where Falley checked cows and fixed fences, spraying and more — on land family now maintains in southeast Kansas.

“I actually didn’t grow up on a farm, but I always had the interest and always wanted to get into it — and now I have that opportunity here.

Seth Falley of Haysville, Kan., feeds a pig at the MTSU swine unit near the 
VA on Memorial Boulevard in Murfreesboro. A member of the MTSU football team, Falley is a valued student worker for the MTSU Farm Laboratory. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
Seth Falley of Haysville, Kan., feeds a pig at the MTSU swine unit near the VA on Memorial Boulevard in Murfreesboro. A member of the MTSU football team, Falley is a valued student worker for the MTSU Farm Laboratory. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“We’ve been cutting a lot of hay, getting ready for hay season. I started in the winter when I got here, just caring for animals, tractor running, long, hot days, but it’s all worth it when you know what you’re doing. Recently, I’ve stepped into more of a management role. That’s sort of what I want to do in the future, be a ranch manager.”

The management role Wade has allowed Falley to pursue includes scheduling student workers, pasture organization and land management.

A Danville, Kentucky, native, Kelly has a 3.4 GPA as a construction management major but may switch back to an agriculture major. With football, he has traveled and established relationships.

Wilson Kelly of Danville, Ky., drives a tractor at the MTSU Farm Laboratory in Lascassas, Tenn., about five miles east of campus. Kelly is a backup center on the MTSU Blue Raiders football team and an important part of the student worker team at the farm and dairy. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
Wilson Kelly of Danville, Ky., drives a tractor at the MTSU Farm Laboratory in Lascassas, Tenn., about five miles east of campus. Kelly is a backup center on the MTSU Blue Raiders football team and an important part of the student worker team at the farm and dairy. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“It sparked my interest,” Kelly said of the opportunity to work at the farm. “I figured Seth and I could work together and it would be fun and put a little money in our pocket and also learn a lot more about the agriculture industry and the great program MT has here. It’s been a great experience so far.”

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

MTSU football players Wilson Kelly, left, of Danville, Ky., and Seth Falley of Haysville, Kan., stack hay bales in a barn area at the MTSU Farm and Dairy in Lascassas, Tenn. Student workers are key to the success of the farm, dairy and beef and swine units. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
MTSU football players Wilson Kelly, left, of Danville, Ky., and Seth Falley of Haysville, Kan., stack hay bales in a barn area at the MTSU Farm and Dairy in Lascassas, Tenn. Student workers are keyto the success of the farm, dairy and beef and swine units. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

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