Solvay News, June 1955
Remember the old arithmetic problem?
"If it takes five men five days to cut the grass on the sides of the large brine reservoir at Syracuse [Solvay], how many days will it take 11 steers to do the same job?"
Well, anyway, it went something like that.
Solvay has gone into the cowpunching business. At least, the plant men think they have the answer to the very tough problem of cutting the grass.
Because of the steepness of the reservoir slope, it is considered rather hazardous to use power-operated mowers due to the possibility of the equipment tipping over and injuring the operator.
George Irving, supervisor of waste beds, otherwise known as "commissioner of parks," reason that 11 steers now grazing on the Syracuse property may be the answer. "At any rate," he says, "it's worth try."
The bovine mowers, White-Faced Herefords and Black Angus, are readily adapting themselves to the sloping terrain, adding a pastoral touch to the Solvay landscape. It is the second time that animals have been used to keep the reservoir grass trim and neat.
Two years ago Solvay went into the sheep-herding business. The woolly munchers arrived too late in the season and just weren't up to the job. They had to be relieved of their duties.
A conservative estimate that the present cud-chewers should mow down the trillion plus blades of grass by a month's end has been made by Mr. Irving. If the experiment works, half of the animals will be removed to maintain the grassy status quo.