Matthew A. Harris
Springfield College is mostly known for its majors within science studies and all aspects of the sports industry. Whether it be journalism, sports management or anything regarding training such as athletic training, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, they seem to have it all.
However, sometimes students come to Springfield College to study a major not at the forefront of the university. Students study everything from the arts, to business, and even dance therapy.
It’s even more ironic when a student comes to Springfield College to study something so foreign to them it’s like a culture shock.
Josh Cappello, from Berkley, Mass, isn’t your typical Springfield College undergraduate, Cappello arrived at Springfield College with a deep background in agriculture.
Over 15 cows line a barn, their rears facing a corridor that has drains just behind the back feet of the cows. Outside, the sun sets over mountains in the distance. Before the mountains lay acres of grassy plains, with nothing but the wind disturbing it.
This is the type of scenery Cappello is familiar with, as he grew up on his grandparents farm.
The farm has been a staple in Capello’s life from a very young age, causing him to gravitate towards this trade and to make a difference in his family tree.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a fascination about agriculture; dairy farming in particular,” said Josh Cappello “My grandparents operated a very successful dairy farm, where they raised Jersey cows and competed in national shows and had a few champion winning cows.”
One of these cows, Elsie was used as the mascot and logo for the Borden milk company
Josh’s interest in Agriculture led him to attend an Agricultural High School located in Bristol County Massachusetts. There he majored in Livestock and Equine Science, otherwise known as large animal science.
“My ultimate goal entering high school was to learn more about Agriculture in order to start up my grandparents farm again.” said Cappello, “I was a member of FFA and competed on my school’s Livestock Evaluation team. I also showed cattle, sheep, and horses throughout my four years at my high school.”
Josh’s grandparents’ barn was destroyed by a fire and was never rebuilt. Upon graduation, Josh plans to rebuild the barn and get the farm back on track.
“My favorite thing about farming would have to be working with the animals. Whether it be getting up early to milk the cows, shearing the sheep or clipping cows, assisting with the birth of a calf, caring for the young, or showing animals in a competition; every experience with the animals was enjoyable to me.” said Cappello.
Despite his love for farming and agriculture, Josh realizes the challenges and hardships. From early mornings to unexpected surgeries, there are almost never guarantees in this field.
“Not everything goes how you expect it to, but that is what has excited me the most. I helped assist in surgeries and got to watch an emergency C-section on a cow and other rare operations during my high school career.” said Cappello “The hardest part about farming are the long hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A typical day starts at around five in the morning and doesn’t end until around six in the evening. It’s hard manual labor and the pay is not what it should be. Many farms are barely making ends meet and are fully committed to their farm.”
However, agriculture is not Josh’s only passion. Here at Springfield, the sophomore studies Physical Therapy, which is known as one of the most rigorous programs at the college. He is also a classically trained piano player. He’s capable of learning up to eight songs in a single day. No matter what he does though, agriculture always remains atop the list of his passions.
“Some call me crazy for wanting to do this, but dairy farming is a passion of mine that I will never give up on.”said Cappello.