Our field trip to Hoober Inc. in Middletown, Delaware was an amazing experience. Growing up, I have been to Hoober many times to get parts and I have witnessed their mechanics come to my farm to help us fix our equipment. We have lots of Case IH equipment so I felt as if I already knew a lot about Hoober, but boy was I wrong. This field trip gave me a better perspective of Hoober as a company and allowed me to learn about the various roles employees partake in. I really enjoyed going through their shop and getting an inside look on the jobs they perform. I always knew Hoober mechanics fixed tractors, but what I did not know was how much time and effort they take to just simply diagnose a problem and how sometimes it takes more than just a few screws and bolts to fix. With the new technology in the equipment, it takes a person that is very skilled with technology and troubleshooting to fix technological issues. Farmers call Hoober when they are having trouble with their equipment. If it is a simple fix, they will fix it right in the farmers shop. If it is a more difficult and strenuous process, they will take the tractor back to Middletown and have their team of highly skilled mechanics work together to solve the problem. Along with learning what they do, we also got to drive a tractor, sprayer, and steiger around. This was not anything new to me, but to my fellow classmates it was a really exciting experience.
Category Archives: Field Trips-Tours
On October 12th, at Hoobers, we were able to see up close the technological side of Precision Ag. Not only does Hoobers sell tractors and other various precision Ag. equipment, but they also help repair equipment that people bring in. Another part of their job is to go out in the community and help educate people on the correct way to use their equipment. For them, the most challenging part of precision Ag. is finding people who are interested in working there and know what they’re doing. In a job like Hoobers, each individual working there has to have the skills required for their job and also be able to be good at cooperating with the other sections of the company. As for new technological advancements that Hoober’s has, they have a connection with base station, which allows them to track and program all their equipment within the radius of the station.
Hoober Equipment Field Trip
Hoober Equipment began its business in 1941 in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Currently, they are a third generation family business with locations in throughout Delmarva, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Hoober carries agriculture equipment from many companies, especially Case IH, Kubota, and JCB. The responsibilities that the Hoober team have are quite extensive and are not taken lightly for each employee knows that the quality of their repairs and products impact their reputation heavily. They definitely uphold their core values of integrity, teamwork and service.
Their advanced precision agriculture technology is impressive to say the least. When we were informed of the 250 thousand to well over 400 thousand dollar price of the machinery, it wasn’t easy to understand how and why people were willing to pay so much for these vehicles. Initially, I believed the size of the vehicles had to be part of the high price but, when I was explained how much these vehicles do, it was much clearer as to the importance and contribution each vehicle makes to aid in the agriculture industry. As we were going through the facility, we encountered the many different workers and observed how each did their part. Just like the equipment they provide, they work together like a finely tuned machine.
Field Trip 3: Hoober
Although I wasn’t able to go on the field trip due to prior arrangements, I was still able to learn a bit about Hoober from friends in the class. Hoobers has multiple branches, but the one I will be focusing on is the one in Middletown, DE. From their website they say, “Since 1941, the focus at Hoober has been on maximizing our customers’ productivity. From new and used equipment from proven leaders like Case IH, Kubota, JCB and more, to delivering exceptional service and parts support to keep your equipment running at peak performance, Hoober is there for agricultural, light construction, excavation and rural homeowner customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region”.
At Hoober, you can buy equipment, replacement parts, and get help from the people at Hoober. They also focus on precision agriculture, which is a topic that we have been discussing in class. They even provide support for those interested in starting to use precision agriculture. Hoober also sells equipment for construction purposes, but they mostly sell larger pieces of equipment like tractors.
Field Trip to Hoober Equipment
On Saturday October 12th the class took a trip to Hoober equipment in in Middletown, Delaware. We got a tour around the place starting with their office. in the office we see an entire wall of binders for manuals for different pieces of equipment dating all the way back to the 50’s. Then we got to go into the repair shop and see many different pieces of equipment up close and taken apart. we saw many different pieces of equipment such as combines and tractors. after touring around the repair shop we were taken outside where saw a large planter close up. later we were given the option to ride in three different large tractors. It was fun to get into such a large vehicle and drive it around. Finally we returned to the shop and were offered a free hat. In the end it was cool to see so many large pieces of equipment up close and learn about some of the mechanics of them.
Hoobers a third-generation family owned business that is essentially a mechanic shop but for large farming equipment. They gave us a tour of the facility, where we got to see tractors, combines, planters, and sprayers. Combines in particular are absolutely ginormous – one tire is taller than me. We talked about the different attachments you put on the front to harvest different crops. We got to see some farming equipment currently taken apart because it was in the process of being fixed. They showed us their main office and there were books and binders a plenty- they had manuals dating back 50 years and claimed that even the old ones get used on the regular.
Hoobers doesn’t just fix and sell to farmers, they also sell equipment for construction purposes. We saw a Quadtrac, which moves sand for things like dune building and beach reclamation. The advantages of the Quadtrac is that it can move more sand than a bulldozer and a dump truck could do, and that the Quadtrac is relatively fast. It can drive on a road unlike a bulldozer, which would have to be loaded on a truck.
I knew that farming equipment was big- I didn’t realize how big. I knew that farming equipment was expensive- I didn’t realize how expensive. The combine alone was about half a million, but it needs the attachments too so together it can be three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a house which is crazy.
Fifer Orchards Field Trip
On September 28, 2019 our class went on a field trip to Fifer Orchard’s main location in Camden, Delaware. We had the opportunity to see many of their farms, crops, equipment, and facilities. It was very cool to be at Fifers during their annual Fall Fest. The part that I enjoyed the most was understanding new technologies for growing strawberries. They can possible delay the growth of a strawberry plant simply by growing it in white plastic instead of black plastic. This small delay allows Fifers to harvest the strawberries later to keep them fresher longer.
On Friday the 27th of September, the class went on a field trip. Although I was not able to go, I learned a few things through my classmates. At Fifer’s orchard, they grow peaches, apples, strawberries, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet corn. They are inorganic because of challenges like humidity and time it takes to grow the crop. They use plastic beds for growing to distribute the water underground and it allows the plant to absorb sunlight for the roots without the problems of weeds growing.
I’ve been to orchards before near my hometown. I was able to pick my own apples and pumpkins. At Fifer’s most of their crops are handpicked. They have pumpkin picking and all kinds of fall activities. They sell some of their apple cider and produce at the farm directly to consumers. I think places like Fifer’s are really cool to spend a weekend in the fall to have fun and feel festive.
Field trip in Fifer Orchard
September 28, we visited Fifer Orchard in Wyoming, DE. It is a farm, a country store and in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. It took about one-hour drive. Bobby Fifer told us that Strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches and pumpkins are the major crops grown in the field. It is a family farm for 100 years since 1919. And everyone in the family has a different job with others which they love to do. Our UD bus took us with Bobby visiting several fields. The most impressive one is the strawberries field. They used the white plastic to cover the soil which can extend the harvest season which is good for harvesting decent quality of strawberries. It was new to me and it helps me to understand that innovative technology does benefit farmers. There is one thing surprised me that they don’t grow organic crop in this farm. Because the climate in the east coast is not suitable for growing organic crop and it costs more.
September 28th, 2019, my class took a field trip to Fifers Orchards. At Fifers their main goal is to grow and sell high quality produce, while preserving the environment, serving the community, and maintaining family values. The Fifer family has been growing fresh fruits and vegetables since 1919. Fifers grows a variety of fruits and vegetable; strawberries, asparagus, blueberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins, plums, cut flowers, and way more. They talked about their community supported agriculture club (CSA). This allows Fifers to get more active in their environment. People receive produce boxes and have a choice as to where they get it. People from further away can get access to these boxes with their multiple locations. Fifers is a big step in helping our agriculture every day.
Fifer Orchards: 100 years of farming!
Fifer Orchards is a Delaware century- farm in operation from 1919 celebrating its 100 years of operation this season. The Fifer family strives to grow and sell high-quality produce while preserving the environment, serving the community and maintaining family values.
Fifer Orchards is a 3,000-acre farm growing a large variety of produce such as but not limited to: Asparagus, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Peaches, Sweet Corn, Pumpkins, and Strawberries.
Sweet corn is their number one profit bringing crop where this year they shipped sweet corn to New Mexico and Colorado where a shortage occurred.
Tomatoes are their most abundant crop on a per-acres basis and recently the Fifer family included high tunnels in their tomato growing plan.
One of the most fascinating techniques Fifer Orchards is testing out this year is the use of black vs. white plastics on their strawberry crops in an effort to offset harvest time for the white covered crops so they don’t have an oversupply during the initial harvest period. This allows them to, hopefully, increase their profitability.
Fifer Orchards is a beautiful farm with a lot of history and diversity I certainly plan on visiting again soon.
Fifer Orchards Field Trip
Fifer Orchards was a great field trip it was cool getting to ride around in the bus and get to see all the fields. Seeing the pivot irrigation up close was amazing. I’ve never realized just how big they really are. I also never thought about the tires going flat and the plastic tires are a wonderful idea and definitely makes farmers jobs a lot less stressful.
I wish would have been able to see the packing system working I can only imagine how efficent this machine is and he said that its really out of date but it still looks in great condition. Before we got to the packing system we walked through their freezer which was just packed with all their different produce. The diversity of fifers crops is really amazing they have from apples all the way to kale. I also really liked their store where I got a gallon of apple cider and donuts and they were both so good. That alone was worth the little drive.
While I was unable to attend the field trip myself, my friend Mollie told me all about it afterwards. She told me that Fifers Orchards is a 3,000 acre family owned farm in Delaware. This farm is owned and operated mostly by the fourth generation of the family, who initially moved here from Virginia. Each family member has their own role in the operations of the farm and they stick to that role. Luckily, this has worked smoothly and everyone in this generation is happy with their role. On the farm, they grow strawberries, kale, cauliflower, peaches, apples, tomatoes, soybeans, and sweet corn. The crops are, for the most part, handpicked, which requires a lot of physical labor. The corn and grain crops are mechanically harvested. Luckily the produce is weighed and sized mechanically and stored in a cooler room kept at 31-36 degrees while the produce awaits shipment. Advancements in technology such as in irrigation, tractors to apply pesticides and herbicides, the cooler room to keep produce fresh, and of course the equipment to harvest the corn and grain crops have contributed to the success Fifers has had. Imagine carrying products out of the fields or spraying crops with pesticides by hand- that would take ages! Fifers is a family owned and very successful farm in Delaware through new technology, school outreach, and strong family relationships.
A Visit to Fifer Orchards
On Saturday, the class took a trip to Fifer Orchards in Wyoming Delaware. We got to see what kinds of crops they grew, and what methods they used for growing them.
For instance, on a lot of their crops (such as broccoli and kale), a center pivot irrigation system was used. This is where a large machine pivots in a circular shape around the field and sprays water in order to hydrate the plants. On other crops (such as peaches), they used drip irrigation. This is where crops are hydrated from the bottom to avoid getting the leaves of the plant wet, which can increase chance for disease, but this system is more inconvenient to use.
Some crops had unique structures associated with them as well. Strawberries used plasticulture where their soil was raised off the ground and covered in black plastic, and tomatoes used a high tunnel where there would be fabric shading the tomatoes in a similar fashion to a greenhouse. These methods both protect the crop during cold weather.
This trip was interesting, and it shed some light on both the physical growth side of farming as well as the marketing side once the crop is harvested.
Field Trip to Fifer’s Orchards
On September 28th the class took a trip down to Fifer’s orchards where we got to see in person the different techniques used to grow many of the different crops on their farm. We were taken on a tour of our bus around the farm with various different stops. On our first stop, we got to see the machine used in center pivot irrigation. On the next stop, we went to their strawberry fields and saw the raised plastic bedding they use to help with temperature control. afterward, we traveled to the storage center where we saw their loading facility where their products are loaded onto trucks and sent to their buyers. Then we entered the very chilly fridge where are all of their harvested crops are held at a much cooler temperature than the outside. in the end, it was a cool trip to be able to see many of the different techniques used to help with crop growth in person.