The UD Webb Farm is located near main campus in Newark where it houses farm animals. This farm allows for not only students, but the general public to come learn about agriculture “through hands on experiences”. On this farm, research is conducted on sustainable ag and how to face current issues. Furthermore, this location is home to the backgrounds of UDairy where they get their actual dairy. The trip allowed for students to learn about the farm, what is done there, its purpose, and to allow for students to get a hands on experience. I find it interesting the location of this farm as it is in the city of Newark which does not have many farms. Lastly, this farm allows for a different kind of learning opportunity that gives students at the University an advantage when applying for jobs later on and assisting on this farm could even lead to a job on its own.
This past week our class took a trip to Fifer’s Orchards in Delaware. One of the owners Bobby, toured us around the entire farm and talked to us about lots of different crops and how they keep all of them under control. They grows lots of different fruits and vegetables. This was a very enjoyable field trip because this is the type of stuff I am interested in. He explained all of the cool machinery and how they are able to grow all their crops. Their best crop to grow is tomatoes, strawberries, sweet corn, and pumpkins. Those are their best money makers. I would highly recommend Fifer’s to anyone because it is such a friendly and fascinating place.
The other week our class took a trip to the UD farm down on South Campus. We got a tour of the cow farm and all the machinery they use for them. On this trip we were focused on more the animals. We saw plenty of them over the course of the morning. We saw how cows were milked and how the milking process could easily get messed up. Another big part of the field trip was about the sheep. The majority of them were slaughtered. There are many different aspects of life on the farm we have at UD and these animals are all used in different and unique ways. None of the ways to care for these animals is easy but they definitely are interesting.
Taking the tour around the UD farm was great. Driving over the bridge every day you see the small plot of crops but I had never realized how big the farm was and how many different things they were working on. Getting to visit a research farm was really interesting and it was such a great opportunity to great such an in-depth tour. I felt like this tour really opened my eyes to a new field in Ag and seeing how meticulous they were on the farm was amazing.
One thing we learned about was the milking process and the care they take for their cows. I think anyone who thinks it’s wrong to use cows for milk probably has a different idea of what they are actually doing than reality. They talked about the measurements they take to ensure not to much milk is collected and how they are constantly assessing the health of each cow. This is not the picture painted by negative media but this first-hand learning can really clear things up for a lot of people.
On Saturday, November 2nd, the class visited the farm owned by the university. It is a research farm which means that it is collecting and analyzing data related to the cultivation of plants and animals. This data helps find new ways to farm more efficiently and with less environmental impacts. Some of the things that they farm there are cows, sheep, and even rice.
The one of the first places that we visited was the dairy farm. This is the place where the UD creamery, UDairy, gets all of their dairy products. An interesting thing is how the cows are organised. They each have their own area from which only they can feed, and the cows quickly learn where this is without much help by the farmers.
My favorite place was the barn with the sheep. I learned that the tails were docked because it helps the sheep avoid infections around the area where the tail and hind legs are.
This past Saturday, the class visited the UD farm here on the Newark campus. I had visited a small portion of it when I initially checked out the school last year, but I was not aware that there are multiple fields and operations that go on here. For example, I had no idea that there were any sheep on campus here, or that there is a whole equine building. A few weeks ago as part of my Organic and Sustainable Farming class I assisted in a round of milking of our campus cows, whose milk goes to Hy-point dairy. It was nice learning a real skill that I can use outside the classroom anywhere in the world. I really take for granted the fact that there is a farm here on campus, where some schools must travel hours for experience in the field, while we just walk outside. Overall, the field trip was nice to reiterate the farm’s layout with myself and learn more about agriculture.
The University of Delaware farm consists of 350 acres and is more diverse than one might think just driving past it. It’s remarkable to note how space can be utilized in an agricultural setting. The common misconception that to have a farm or land in production, you can’t live in a city or you need a lot of land is clearly debunked during this lab. The Universities operation includes research, dairy, beef, sheep, poultry, equine, acreage for tomatoes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and more. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the beehives miss Delaney works hard on, as the hives play a major role on the farm. I think it’s truly amazing how even the smallest and sometimes immobile lifeforms are perhaps the most intricate of our ecosystem. Understanding the various reproductive parts of a plant is helpful especially in agricultural seed and fruit production, I think it would be interesting to see more integrated crop/ agricultural practices in the future. Bees are the cheapest employees a farmer could have. Crops from nuts to vegetables and as diverse as alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, and sunflower all require pollinating by honey bees.
Last Saturday on November 1st, we went on a tour of the UD farm. More specifically we focused on the different animals that the farm works with and how they are used in the agriculture industry. However, oddly enough we didn’t take tours of the poultry part of the farm but we did get a tour of the cows and the equipment used to milk them. It was fascinating finding out that the milking process was not only time consuming, but also required many different aspects to the programming of the machine. Each cows milking specification varied and any issue that occurs could mess up the process drastically. Other parts we toured were the sheep, which are mostly slaughtered. Overall what I gained from the tour was the the process of running has many different aspects such as cleaning the cows, mixing the feed, and collecting the waste. There’s no job that is simple and if not done correctly could end up reducing the productiveness of the farm.
On November 2, 2019, our class had its last field trip and to none other than the University’s own research farm. Out of all the field trips, this one was the most informative to me. There is a lot that goes into maintaining a research farm that many people do not understand. Scott Hopkins, the superintendent of the research farm, explained to our class that there are various tasks and responsibilities that are required in maintaining the farm but even so, he loves it. What he loves most, is when he shows people with very little or no knowledge of farming what goes on and seeing the look they have in their eyes; full of awe and amazement. Some of the people, however, that don’t come with some background knowledge can also be a problem. “Always ask before doing anything on another person’s farm!” Scott Hopkins advised. Many times people have done things like touch an animal or pick crops that put either the animal or the human at risk. He explained that some people will just pick some corn and it was part of a research experiment so not only did they mess up the data, but may have also endangered themselves. Even so, Scott Hopkins also enjoys all of the data analysis and research because “I’m kind of science-brained so it’s all pretty exciting to me.” The most exciting research project to him was artificially inseminating a group of queen bees with a single drone. Due to advancements in technology, he is able to experience these great milestones in science and agriculture.
On November 2nd, the class traveled up to Newark, Delaware to meet Scott Hopkins, a superintendent and crop manager of the researched-based Webb Farm on the UD campus. He introduced to us the importance of research done on the farm with livestock as well as crops. Currently, the farm contains Dorset sheep, an Angus cattle herd and equine herd with greenhouses and acreage used for leafy greens, tomatoes, okra, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and other produce. Large portions of the fresh fruit and vegetables grown there follow the Fresh to You segment which delivers organics to subscribing customer’s doorsteps. This farm also provides for farmers markets and shopping centers. Scott Hopkins works on and conducts research on cow milk, their feed, and sheep wool as shown in the photos below. He gave the class a tour of the areas where the livestock are kept and how they are taken care of. While showing us the farm on campus, he told us that his most favorite thing about working in his position is teaching students about the agricultural experience, because today, many people have become separated from knowing how their food made its way to their plate. He brought up the topic of agriculture and explained the scientific approach to it, which I think is very important to consumers to ensure the health of ourselves as well as the animals and plant products we consume every day.
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!
This was the second time that I’ve taken a tour of the UD south campus farms, so I was pretty familiar with everything there. First we went to see the organic farm, which is used for classes and the produce is sold. We then saw the dairy cows and their milking facility. Dairy cows are my favorite farm animal because they are like large dogs, they just want to be loved. They seemed pretty relaxed and chill, and I appreciated that. We then saw a bit more of where they keep the dairy cows and saw the machines where they keep them in place when working on their feet or giving them any sort of treatments.
Next we went past the chickens, though we didn’t go in, because we could track in viruses or diseases that could be harmful to the chickens. After that, we went past the bees and their hive as well has some other small farms used for classes and research.
Once we crossed the road, we got to the sheep and horses stable. Sadly, they didn’t have any horses at the time, but our guide showed us some of the reasons why the stables were built in the specific way. For example, the sides of each enclosed stable is see through so that the horses can see each other. I also found out that horses are one of two mammals that can actually stop their labor and continue at another time.
Next we saw the sheep and some lambs. I got to pet a lamb for the first time. There were also some older cows next to the sheep, who were also chilling much like the dairy cows. The sheep have access to the outside to roam around when they feel like it, but the one sheep and the two lambs did not have a very open space, because one had a medical problem, and it’s easier to get them for treatment in a smaller enclosement. I enjoyed our more in depth tour of the farm, but I wish it wasn’t so cold!
On November 2nd, our agriculture class took a trip to the University of Delaware Research Farm in Newark. Scott Hopkins, the farm superintendent, gave us a tour of the farm and showed us the daily routines. We were able to see multiple kinds of livestock, including sheep and cows and the vegetables being grown like kale and cabbage. He showed us where the cows were milked everyday and the technology behind it. Cows aren’t milked by hand anymore, in order to control food safety, they are hooked up to a milker that does the work automatically and is able to test the milk before putting it in the joint tank to be shipped off. He also showed how the research on what cows eat is controlled. A chip in there neck allows the animal to reach into a specific bin to eat. This allows them to track exactly how much and what the cow is eating and how it might affect the cow. I thought it was pretty cool how the cow is trained and know exactly where to go to eat when all of the bins look exactly the same. This field trip was probably my favorite because it was really hands on and i was able to learn alot.
We visited the UD farm on Saturday, a 350 acre farm dedicated to various research. The farm has crop fields, pastures, wetland areas, and forests. We saw cows and sheep, though they also have chickens, bees, and horses. I found the feeding system of the cows to be interesting. Each cow has their own radio collar that, when they stick their head in their bin, sends a signal to the gate blocking it and opens only for that particular cow. No other cow can get to a different cows feed. The cows, of course, must be trained to go to their spot and that spot never changes. We didn’t see the chickens due to biosecurity reasons. We pose a big problem to the health of the chickens, so we only drove by.
The farm does sell some of the food it produces on Star campus, but it does not go to the dining hall. The fields grow organic produce such as leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins. In their high tunnels, the farm can be growing plants 9-10 months in the year, which is important considering the length of time it takes some plants to grow and when students are typically on campus.
This was definitely my favorite trip of them all and between seeing all the animals, the research they were doing throughout the farm, getting to hear about everything they do on the farm, oh and I can’t forget about that ice cream. I got a pint of cinnamon crunch ice cream and it was just about the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Maybe seeing all the behind the scenes of the milking process and the cows themselves made it better. But, I’ve had the tour of Hopkins Dairy farm and there ice cream didn’t get any better so I’ll have to take another trip up to Newark and get some more to experiment. My favorite thing about this field trip was the feeding process they had for the cows. It just amazed me and I almost didn’t believe him till 3 or 4 cows came up and scanned their necklace and started eating. I also thought it was cool that they were experimenting with rice patties on campus I never thought that we would be in the right climate for that but it definitely makes sense. Another, bonus was getting to see all the different bee hives scattered around the farm.