Category Archives: Equine/Horse

UD farm

In November 2nd, 2019, my class took a field trip in webb farm and dairy farm of university of Delaware. I have been there several time in last semester, and the bad smell are so familiar. UD farm grows crops and vegetables in the field, but they didn’t serve for dining halls in main campus. The yield is not enough to satisfies the needs. But they do sell to the star campus. We saw several herds of sheep, dairy cattle and horses. UD farm even grows rice and raise bees for research. There are over 100 cows in dairy farm. They can produce 800 gallons of milk per day. Staffs use automatic milker machine to milk cows. Because of biosecurity and efficiency. And I noticed that some cows have weird “windows” in their side of body. It allows the researchers to reach inside the animal’s stomach and analyze the contents. If the cow was sick, researcher will take other healthy cow’s stomach contents and put into the sick cow’s stomach to see if it cures the cow. In the webb farm, we luckily saw 4 cute lambs. What a wonderful trip!

University of Delaware Newark Research Farm

Dairy Cattle – Newark DE

Farm Superintendent, Scott Hopkins gave a tour of the UD farm as our last field trip. The farm consists of a portion of land dedicated to organic farming, horses, sheep, 25 beef cattle, and 85 dairy cattle.

The UD organic farm where the Fresh 2 You gardens and high tunnels are.  This garden provides produce to restaurants and the University. We then moved to see the milking parlor. This was an interesting time because I know very little about dairy operations, I was amazed at how much technology goes into the process. The machines are capable of testing different qualities of the milk to ensure that the product is of good quality. In the dairy barn, we learned about how UD professors can conduct research on dairy nutrition and how diets can impact milk production. At the Webb farm, we learned of the equine production, sheep barn, and beef cattle.  He explained some research projects going on at the farm. To me, the most interesting was the rice plots – arsenic trials.

UD Farm Tour Fieldtrip

Our last field trip was close to home, the UD Farm tour! We spent the day learning about what the University of Delaware had to offer its students and community. Scott Hopkins, the farm superintendent, guided us on our last tour. Although I have been on the farm many times before, I learned many new and valuable things that we’re doing at UD. I never knew that we were growing hops and rice patties, so that was an interesting fun fact to learn. We toured both the main farm and Webb farm, with the day ending at UDairy Creamery.

My favorite part of the day was when we got to enjoy our ice cream while watching our classmate put on a fiddling concert. Max nailed the performance and it was a great way to wrap up our final field trip together. Overall, our forth field trip was very educational and a lot of fun!

UD Farm Tour – Scott Hopkins

On Saturday November 10th our class toured the Newark Farm on our very own University of Delaware’s campus. Although I was not able to attend I am decently familiar with the campus farm. The UD farm was one of the first things I toured at the University of Delaware. I was immediately impressed by all the different aspects of the farm and the amount of research that they are able to conduct.

One of the main facilities I am pretty familiar with is the milking parlor. It was really cool to see that operation and how they use the milk for UDairy. This is a prime example of how UD is trying to connect the consumers to the product they are buying. This is a big trend for consumers and it is a great marketing technique for UDairy and UD’s dairy. I also am familiar with UD’s dairy because I have had to work a milking shift through one of my classes freshman year. It was good seeing how they take sanitary precautions while milking and also with sick cows. The dairy also has a great basis for research in the dairy industry from feed analysis, exploring the rudiment stomach of the cows, and many other aspects.

Besides the dairy, there is Webb Farm which has sheep, horses, and steers. I have been there before for other classes and it was cool to see how they are putting in place different management methods, like pasture rotation. Also, I know many classes have labs that give the ability for students to get hands on experience with these animals, something that is so crucial in the learning process. In addition, the apiary is a pretty cool aspect of the farm. Bees have had quite the presence on social media due to their importance to our food supply so seeing how UD is doing their part in research and production of bees is awesome. Overall, I think the UD farm is something that makes this university so unique because of all the different research aspects and experience students can gain through it.

UD Farm Final Field Trip

This past Saturday we had our final field trip which was located here at the UD farm and hosted by the farm superintendent Scott Hopkins. Even though it was a little cold and the wind was blowing it was still a nice day. Being a Pre-Vet major, I’ve had a couple classes on the farm such as the ANFS 111 lab and Organic and Sustainable Farming so I knew most about the farm but it stills amazes me that every time I step foot on it there’s always something learn. For example, last year I volunteered to help Larry Armstrong the Webb Farm Manager in vaccinating the ewe’s and help with the ultrasounds The farm is consisted of over 350 acres of land which is home to different types of animals such as Black Angus beef cattle, Holstein dairy cattle that get milked twice a day, Dorset sheep (which is my favorite), several varieties of chickens, bees, and seven horses. And even a field with hops for beer! On most Fridays there is a tent set up by the organic green houses that sells fresh produce to everyone including students plus the UDairy Creamery where you can buy more than just ice cream.

My favorite part about the farm is how hands on it is. Like during the ANFS 111 lab we get the opportunity to milk the cattle, trim the sheep’s hooves and have the ability to interact with the horses. The day of the field trip, Black Angus beef cows were loud but that was because they were separated from their young who are being weaned off the milk. The best part I like is that UD doesn’t just interact with itself. They have partnerships with other universities such as Rutgers (New Brunswick). For instance, when the dairy cows give birth UD keeps the bull calf for so long and then they ship them to Rutgers for research. UD and Rutgers share the cattle more or less to say which is pretty cool. There is so many career and research opportunities on the farm. If you talk to the right people you are able to be put on a wait list to be able to work with the animals although it is hard to schedule a break time within your normal class schedule to work on the farm but its most definitely worth trying. Also a huge thank you to Dr. Isaacs for treating everyone to ice cream and to Max as well for putting a performance on playing his fiddle!

UD Farm Tour

We had an awesome opportunity to get an in-depth tour of the Newark farm on November 10th.  While I have had class on parts of the farm in the past, I hadn’t had the chance until now to see every part of the farm.  Learning about the various projects going on was super cool, like the apiaries and rice patties. We also got to tour the insides of the dairy facilities and learn all about how the cows are trained to just walk into the parlor when milking time rolls around, and how tedious and time consuming it can be to care for them.  Our tour guide Scott Hopkins, the farm superintendent, was full of so much knowledge and information, I didn’t lose focus once listening to him talk about the farm and his passion for it. He had a particular passion for the horses, and he showed us the horse barn and the different tools within it, such as the teasing wall, as well as the small indoor arena that I didn’t know existed. I was also amazed to learn that horses can stop contractions during labor if they feel threatened.  As a whole, the tour was super fun and interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn as much as I did.

UD Farm Tour

Today on the UD farm was cold and windy but also a lot of fun! Scott Hopkins was so knowledgeable as the farm superintendent and very informative. The farm consists of an organic garden, 7 horses, 25 beef cattle, 85 dairy cattle, sheep and horses. Mr. Hopkins thinks that the dairy cattle are the most challenging to care for because the dairy cattle get milked twice a day which requires a lot of labor and the dairy cattle require a lot of different equipment. The farm provides food products to restaurants and to UD students through ice cream, produce stands, and star campus.

It was cool to see parts of the farm that I usually don’t get to see as a plant science major. I always love seeing the dairy cows, though sadly the babies were warded off by all of the rain that we have had. The angus cows did not want us around and mooed very loudly. The sheep were also not happy that we were barging in on the cud chewing. There are so many careers on a research farm such as managers and superintendents and other workers that participate on the farm but also professors and graduate students who are conducting most of the research done on the farm. Overall, I had a great time today and I am sad that this was our last field trip.

As mentioned, the sheep were not happy to see us and crammed themselves as far as they could into the corner of their pen.

Horse Racing Industry in Delaware ~ Mark Davis

Horse racing in Delaware goes way back. Horse racing is one of the oldest out of all sports and it hasn’t undergone any changes over the centuries. In 1989, horse racing is the second most widely attended U.S. spectator sport after baseball. Over 56,194,565 people which brought in about $9.14 billion dollars attended 8,004 days of racing. This industry specifically has a $102 billion dollar impact on the US economy. In 1967 dover downs was incorporated, and on November 19, 1969 the fist DD harness race took place. There are many different regulations involved in horse racing. Horse racing is still a big part of Delaware. I would like to thank Mark Davis for taking the time to talk to us about this, it makes me want to get more involved and go watch a race with my family.

Mark Davis and the Horse Racing Industry

Horse racing is one of the oldest known sports to men and is spread all throughout the World reaching many different audiences. In the United States there are 9.2 million horses where 844,531 horses are involved in racing. There are then 4.6 million people involved in the industry that do not necessarily own horses and then there is tens of millions of people watching. Within the horse racing industry there are two different events that include thoroughbred and harness racing. These two events believe it or not impact the United States economy hugely generating $39 billion just within the industry and $102 billon around the industry. Here in Delaware the horse racing industry dates back to 1760 when the first racing facility was built in Newark. Since then there has been many different race tracks built and many horse raisers try to join in on this booming industry. One reason many people are trying to get involved is the large winnings that are possible. With 2,300 harness races and 600 thoroughbred races a year in Delaware there are many opportunities for a racer to win. But when horses cost $16,000 too $19,000 on average per head it makes it quite difficult for a racer to make a profit.

The Horse Racing Industry in Delaware

I have only briefly been exposed to the horse racing industry when I went to one race as a little kid. I’ve never thought that the industry could have such a huge impact annual impact on the U.S. economy ($102 Billion). I think that it was smart of Delaware to revitalize the horse racing industry by passing the Delaware Horse Racing Redevelopment Act, which authorized slot machines at some horse racing facilities. Something that stuck out from his lecture was that not everyone who owns horses is very wealthy. In reality, approximately 34% of horse owners have a household income of less than $50,000. I definitely was part of the population who thought only wealth people had horses because of all the costs associated with owning one, such as feed, any needed medicine, immunizations, and so on. This industry so important as it not only contributes to the Delaware economy, but it also supported 1,540 jobs in Delaware in the year 2014.

Horse Racing Industry

On October 24th, we had guest speaker Mark Davis give us a lecture on the horse racing industry in Delaware. 

The modern horse racing began in the 12th century when English knights returned from the Crusades with swift Arabian horses. It was not until the mid-1600’s when British settlers brought horse racing to the new world, with the first track made in Long Island. American horse breeders and racers established the Jockey Club, that still defines standards and regulations for racing, racecourses, and breeding. Harness racing is a prevalent part of the Delaware horse industry. In 1940, the opening of the Roosevelt Raceway set the stage for the current era of harness racing, which took off after WWII. In 1945, the Delaware Harness racing Commission was established. Delaware has two tracks used annually, Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. Over time, the popularity of harness and thoroughbred races went down. The decrease in public interest and aim to regain the interest of the industry the Delaware government passed a law allowing casinos to be established in the state. Casinos could only be established alongside a racetrack. With the law in place, the industry has been able to gain a steady income. Annually, the DE Harness Racing Commission issues 2,000 licenses to owners, trainers, drivers, groomers, vendors, and track employees. In 2014, the horse racing industry total contribution to Delaware economy was nearly $182 million dollars and 1500 jobs. Currently, in the U.S. there are 9.2 million horses which are used for show, racing, recreation, employees, and volunteers. The horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S. of $39 billion dollars annually. 

Horse racing industry

Horse racing is one of the oldest of all sports that have taken place in the United States but there are even fewer that basically have had no change over the years they have been around.  On October 24 Mark Davis came into our Agri130 class and gave us a lecture on horse racing in Delaware with some history behind it. The thing that really surprised me was that the First harness race at Dover Downs in 1969 and I wouldn’t have even thought that they have had race there because I only known of the race track at Harrington. But that where I have watched all the races that I can remember. An how much income the state brings in from the horse race each year even though that the industry is slowly falling.

Horse Racing Industry in Delaware

I’ve been around horses my entire life and never knew that we had such a big harness racing industry in Delaware. I don’t know much about the horse racing industry in general, aside from going to Delaware Park a few times and watching the Kentucky Derby. However, I’ve owned horses my entire life and dabbled in many disciplines like dressage, jumpers, and eventing. So my experience in the equine industry is extensive, although only in a few specific areas.

Mark Davis taught me how prominent the harness racing industry in this area is. I think it’s a really cool opportunity for people to get involved with the equine industry that don’t want to be involved in the traditional equestrian lifestyle. I had no idea that historically, they crossed Arabians with Warmbloods to get race horses. When I think about horse racing, I only think about thoroughbreds, so Mark Davis was definitely informative about the history too.

I thought it was very interesting that he shared that about a third of horse owners are not very wealthy. I think this is one of the most common misconceptions about equestrians out there. We’re often labeled as the “rich kids” who own horses, but in fact many of us are working hard to make ends meet to pay for our horses!


The Horse Racing Industry of Delaware

On Wednesday October 24 2018, The AGRI130 class had guest speaker Mark Davis come in and speak to the class about horse racing and the industry within Delaware. Mark began by talking about the history of horse racing. According to mark horse racing is one of the oldest sport, however modern horse racing did not begin until the 12th century when the english knights brought back fast Arabian horses from the crusades that were taking place around that time. In the late 17th century and early 18th century the first race track in the United States was established on Long Island, New York. He went on to explain that today there are roughly 9 million horses in the U.S. with 2 million people owning horses. He also brought up how much money the horse industry brings in to the economy. He said this industry brings in $39 billion every year. I was amazed at how much money was incorporated in this industry. Before this guest lecture I had very little knowledge on this subject. However, now I know so many interesting things about the amazing horse racing industry in Delaware.

Delaware’s Horse Racing Industry

Last week we were visited by Mark Davis, a leader in Delaware’s harness horse racing industry. Mark’s career took a winding path to land in the racing industry, from initially majoring in marine biology, however he has found a passion in this position. Mark told us about the progression of the industry, from its roots in medieval England to its recent decline in popularity here in Delaware.

Although racing might not be the first enterprise one may mentally associate with agriculture, it is hugely economically impactful. The equine industry itself contributes 39 billion dollars to the economy annually. In Delaware, the racing industry contributes 182 million to the state’s economy. Furthermore, it adds 1540 jobs of a large variety to the market. With advancements in online streaming and gambling, it is unclear what the future may hold for this industry.