UD Research Farm Field Trip

On November tenth, the AGRI 130 students had the opportunity to tour the University of Delaware’s Webb Farm with Scott Hopkins. Webb farm consists of 350 acres of land for crop and animal production. Webb farm features wetlands and forested areas for wildlife and insect populations as well as areas for agricultural production. The students had the opportunity to tour all of the animal facilities including dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry, equine, and sheep. We also had the opportunity to learn and observe UD’s research areas with bees, hopps, and rice patties. The USDA has an entomology building on the farm, which gives students the opportunity to work with and research a variety of insect species. The entomology building is also used to study the effects of agricultural pests.  There are a variety of research projects being conducted on Webb farm, and UD has the facilities and animals to make these projects successful. For example, in dairy, a group can conduct research with feed through utilizing UD’s kahlen barn, in which each cow has been trained to eat at a specific feed troth and the RFID tags on the collar of the cows lock and unlock the feed troughs. The forage being stored at Webb farm is kept in plastic silos and can be utilized for teaching the importance of anaerobic fermentation of cattle feed as well as providing nutrition to the livestock. Over time, livestock can become too dependant on humans for basic functions such as parturition. Through a selective process, the managers at Webb farm have only kept individuals that are independent and successful for the purposes of teaching, production, management, and research. Webb farm provides the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to gain hands on experience and enhance their agricultural education.   Mr.Hopkins provided a unique perspective on farming, animal management, and current agricultural issues during the tour. Thank you to Scott Hopkins for educating AGRI 130 students through a tour of Webb farm.

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