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 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.
This Field trip was very fun and I learned a lot about how precision ag is changing the way farmers do things. Hoober’s from the sound of it is where I would buy all my farming equipment. They are helpful and more important than that they are knowledgeable. Driving the tractors was very cool. The closest thing I’ve driven to a tractor was a bulldozer with a small backhoe on the back. The tractor was a lot smoother. Unfortunately, the auto steering didn’t work while I was in there but it started to right at the end so I got a little look at what was going on. It defiantly is cool how it just completely takes over and immediately starts to mark where you have been and I’m sure it would track everything you’ve harvested or sprayed. Which like professor Issac said would be very beneficial in a court case. This field trip definitely showed off this side of the industry very well and taught me a lot.
Last Saturday, our class took a field trip to Hoober in Middletown, Delaware. Founded in 1941, Hoober specializes in both the sale and repair of agricultural tractors, sprayers, harvesters, and planters, as well as precision agriculture equipment. Over the years, Hoober has established a reputation for reliability and professionalism. Hoober has several locations throughout Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The tour began with two employees explaining their career with Hoober and discussing their current jobs. Eventually we came to the workshop and saw several tractors in various states of repair. After this, we were given the opportunity to drive three tractors around a field with the aid of a precision agriculture tool, the auto-steer. The auto-steer is a very helpful tool used by most farmers to make steering a tractor easier. Using GPS, the auto-steer automatically drives the tractor along a predetermined course. Overall, I enjoyed this field trip and what it taught me about the many applications of precision agriculture used by Hoober, Inc.
On September 28, 2019 the class took a field trip to Fifer Orchards at the very beginning of the farms Fall Fest‘commemorating it’s 100th year. This trip would commence very differently than the last one, with the majority of the tour spent on the bus. We would ride around to various fields before visiting the sorting and packing area, taking our obligatory class picture, and finally checking out the farm’s country store.
Our host, Mr. ‘Bobby’ FIFER met us in the parking lot before climbing aboard the bus. He began the tour by giving the class a cit of backstory on himself and the farm. Mr. FIFER was a Virginia Tech graduate who continued to work at the farm after college with his two other brothers and cousin for the past 15 years. Together they encompass the fourth generation of the families now 3000acre farm. Mr. FIFER stated the family once owned more land after they moved from Rehoboth to Dover in 1904 after the drowning of a child, but those Milford and Magnolia parcels were either sold or lost to time. The third generation, made up of Mr. FIFER’s father, now in his 80’s, and Mr. FIFER’s Aunt remain active with the help of two or three female staff members working in public relations. Every family member has their own role to fill n the farm and no one is vying for the other’s job.
Mr. FIFER notes that each family member does what he or she is best-suited for and comfortable with. Mr. FIFER really enjoys working amongst the people and being at the front of the farms public brand. His brother, Mr. Kirk FIFER, worked for Sargenta right out of college in the 1990s, so he handles a lot of the sales- ‘whether a consumer wants 10 or 10, 000 case of product’, as well as wholesale to Walmart. Mr. Michael FIFER, the cousin, handles the public relations angle of the business, handling retail in Dewey Beach and Dover, booking entertainment, and coordinating ‘Fall Fest’. Another, older brother, prefers to work behind-the-scenes, out int he fields, in a harvester, or just doing maintenance.
No matter the role, there is always plenty for any one member to do because Fifer’s is a very diversified farm. At the start of the growing season, they are packing fruit, off-season asparagus (a fern and early spring crop that stores energy in it’s roots), and one of their most profitable crops per acre, tomatoes. Strawberries often complete for the most profitable crop per acre, but overall, corn and pumpkins generate the most money. Surprisingly, the tree fruit for which the orchard is known, has the lowest profit per acre, because Delaware’s warmer temperatures and humidity is not really conducive to growing the best peaches or apples. Peaches are prone to get stink bugs, scab, brown bacteria, leaf rot, and scale, with apples fairing a little better, subject to fire bight, wart, black rot, as well as scab, scale, and nutrition deficiency. Both crops are subject to daily pest struggles and require different pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides to stay viable. The harvest season runs from April to December, and also includes kale, broccoli, cauliflower, beans(in rotation with corn), and sweet potatoes. Most of the crops are sold locally, though the corn may be shipped as far a s New Mexico, Walston (PA?), Miami, Mississippi, and Colorado.
The high temperatures and humidity create the constant threat of disease, making it very difficult to grow anything organically in this state, so Fifer’s is not an organic farm. Mr. FIFER says it’s not worth the ‘headache’ to try and it’s too time-consuming.
Despite the high level of Inputs required for conventional production, Fifer’s has a reliable way to manage their equally high levels of output. They farm utilizes mechanical harvesting for it’s sweet potatoes and corn, along with other harvesters and mowers. Other crops that require hand labor is often supplied by immigrants through the H2A Program, which supplies guest workers on Federal visas to harvest and pack produce. The Fifer’s must pay for the workers living expenses, providing housing, laundry, rides to Walmart and work, as well as $1, 400 per month for the employees to go to an from Mexico from September 1 to November 1. It’s is a great expense, but Mr. FIFER asserts that working through the government program means they only need about 70 people versus the 100 domestic workers they once hired, even as the farm has grown and expanded.
To facilitate this growth, Fifer’s has employed a variety of different growing methods, such as double cropping, or growing 2 crops in one year, cover cropping, and reduced tillage. They have also employed the use of ‘protected agriculture’, implementing hi-tunnels with measurable success. Mr. FIFER stated that the practice is easier in New York and Vermont, but in New Jersey, E. PA, and further southward it’s ‘impossible’. Hi-tunnels were utilized to extend the growing season and sell on the ”shoulder season’. Cultivars like strawberries and raspberries were grow first, but tomatoes were the ones that proved most lucrative. The Fifer’s could produce 2-3× the yield in tomatoes when no other local farm has them well into the month of December- but from November into December consumers are often thinking of squash and kale and other ‘fall foods.’ Hi- tunnels are most cost effective than a greenhouse for the Fifer’s as their expense is based on length- they only cost $10, 000-$40/50, 000 per acre. They are a big deal in other states like PA, Maryland, & Virginia. The only caveat is the tunnel cultivar must be rotated and the physical structure moved, or the land it sits on must be fumigated, i.e., the soil must be injected with chemicals to kill and sterilize it of everything- which is an added cost.
Additional growing methods like raised beds and bed covers are used for weed and pest management, as well as on-farm experiments. Raised beds can prevent the wetting of leaves, which promotes bacterial growth. Mr. FIFER spoke of his efforts using plastic bedcovers, namely with strawberries, to keep the soil warm and prohibit weed growth as well. Mr. FIFER said he intended to try alternating between black and white plastic on different rows to stagger the crops soil heat absorption by a few degrees and extend the harvest season with equally ripe berries. The bedcovers, used in tandem with 0.9-1.2oz. re-used row-covers, can be used to retain heat and trick the plants into, ‘thinking they’re in NC’- Delaware strawberries are planted the 1st-3rd week of September, but NC strawberries are planted well into October, with a harvest by the end of April or early May.
To maintain soil health, the Fifer’s plant oats, whose roots grow up to 1ft. long and absorb and excess nutrients and prevent soil erosion. They may also plant, ‘Tillage Radishes’ that aerate the soil by breaking up the hardpan and create mulch to increase the soil’s organic matter. The Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service(ASCS) will pay farmers for planting cover crops, which is particularly important for sandy soil.
One off the most important aspects of farming that Mr. FIFER covers, was the orchards extensive use of different irrigation techniques. Citing Mr. James ADKINS and his expertise on irrigation, Mr. FIFER stated the farm uses 600-12–gal per min wells to power their system of Drip Irrigation, Underground Drip Irrigation, Linear and Center Pivot Irrigation, and Hard-Hose Irrigation. Drip irrigation was displayed on the surface of the peach orchard and used because the farmers experience less of a problem from rodents, groundhogs, and foxes gnawing the lines than they would with an underground system. To run the drip irrigation, the water source must be free of iron and scale, or the hoes nozzles will become plugged, so clarification and filtering are used. With the linear and center pivot irrigation, seen in a field of Kohlrabi, cauliflower, and collards, the system works with automatic pressure release valves and is positioned on plastic wheels that, while more costly, don’t go flat and bolt onto the hub. The hard-hose irrigation system must be hooked to a well, unspooled with a tractor for 200ft and then dragged and relocated, unhooked, and re-hooked to different hydrants along tramlines.
Another aspect, pest management, was covered throughout the tour. One method discussed was airblast and airplane spraying, which requires highly trained trick flyers who can maneuver at low altitudes and often train more than commercial pilots. Aerial spraying can be used to manage weeds, but vigilance by those who work in the fields is needed as well. Prof. ISAACS showed us a ‘Velvet Leaf’ or ‘Elephant Ear’, an example of a weed that when not handled properly and treated quickly, can result in a long-lasting problem- the plant contains large seed pods with up to 50 seeds that can go dormant for up to 50 years. Another method was a deer management strategy in which the Fifer’s allow a set group of hunters to come in and kill deer for free at no liability to them under the State Quality Deer Management Program. Mr. FIFER stated the greatest pest statewide would undoubtedly be the four-legged, white-tail deer- a herd can eat 30 acres of soybeans and 20acres of strawberries.
Additional challenges would be the paperwork and documentation that goes into processing. Every product must be labelled with a GN and LOT# for distribution. The Fifer’s must pay $10, 000 for an audit, flying an inspector in from Idaho. There are also additional expenses that must be covered for any new or changing government regulations- Mr. FIFIER stated that the family would often look for loopholes to avoid the intense scrutiny increasing regulations can bring. Also, without a properly established market for their cultivars, like the Kohlrabi, the plants are just wasted space and must be tilled under to make way for a different crop next season.
One topic that has seemingly become the subject of every class discussion at some point is the sighting and eventual spread of the Spotted Lantern Fly. Mr. FIFER said that although the invasive insect had found it’s way to Sussex County from Pennsylvania, they had yet to see the pest on their property, but as Prof. ISAACS reminded us, according to the rules of the Department of Agriculture it is up to the farmer to treat any known threats.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip. I would definitely like to come back to Fifer’s for the events as well as the interesting foods in the store that I didn’t get to try or purchase. I was told there was boar, bear, and alligator jerky, and I saw a large selection of jams and jellies with inventive flavors I’d love to sample, but would have no clue how to use.
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.
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.
On Saturday, September 28, we took a class field trip to Fifer Orchards. Fifer Orchards is located outside Wyoming Delaware and has been in operation since 1919. Strawberries, apples, kale, tomatoes, and peaches are among the crops grown. Some of the strawberries were planted on plastic that had been painted white to spread out the harvest period. The tomatoes were planted in partially enclosed tunnels to allow them to be grown throughout the year. Overall, tomatoes are the most valuable crop at Fifers.
When asked about the viability of growing organic produce, Bobby Fifer explained that it would be nearly impossible, as it would not be financially viable. Bobby also discussed the Community Supported Agriculture program, which allows consumers to pay for produce before it is are planted. The consumer then has access to their share of the produce once it has been harvested. The money provided by the consumer is directly invested in the planting and harvesting of the produce they paid for.
Our trip to the organic Coleman chicken farm introduced me to a lot of technology new to me but what interested me the most was the new in-vessel composting system implemented at the farm named the ecodrum. The Ecodrum was a large black corrosion-free polyethylene cylinder that sat upon long rollers that would periodically rotate the composting vessel. At Georgie’s farm the Ecodrum was used to compost chicken mortality which was added along with pine shavings into the machine, after that the entire process is managed by an automated control system. This new innovation has not only cut back on the manpower required to compost dead chickens but it has done it in a way that reduces odor to a minimum. This technology is being widely implemented on poultry farms in Arizona but the unit at the Cartanza farm that we saw was the only one in Delaware.
On September 7, 2019 the entire class took a trip to Dover, Delaware to visit a poultry farm. Though I grew up not too far from this farm, I never new of it’s existence. The farm is owned by a Ms. Georgie Cartanza, a Nuffield Scholar and the current University of DE Poultry Extension Agent. Ms. Cartanza began the trip by introducing herself and sharing a bit of backstory. She told this to us while we sat on a makeshift amphitheater of sorts made up of packages of pine shavings set up on the concrete heavy-use pad in the shadow of a barn used for storage.
After the presentation, we were presented with Personal Protective Equipment- intended more for the chickens safety than our own- in the form of rubber booties, coveralls, and hairnets.
Looking quite stylish and now rendered unable to sneak-up on anyone, we loudly rustled and awkwardly shuffled around the other side of the barn where we saw the EcoDrum and the product of it’s ‘in-vessel composting process’.
Opposite the barn, we could see behind up an identical structure with a manual composting drum.
After marveling at the innovative composting technology we walked over to the actual chicken houses themselves. We got to hear about the technology used to run the chicken houses, namely the Environmental Controller- revolutionary device that allows a single farm to take care of 37, 000 chickens. A prominent part of that technology, displayed broadly on the sides of all the houses, are the large fans to bring the temperature of the chicken house down when necessary.
We also learned about the pasture areas between the houses and the advantages and disadvantages of allowing chickens to roam in the yard. Not yet in use with the young chickens were ramps, hanging water dispensers, bully boxes, ramps, and shade structures. Along with the man-made shade structures were natural shade structures of cattails running down the center.
The culmination of the trip was the experience of holding baby chickens- these particular chicks were a mere two days old, still bearing the pink streaks of the tinted spray vaccine they received before arriving.
The class, joined by Ms. Cartanza, didn’t leave Dover before stopping for lunch at Chik-fil-A- paid for by the Professor. We parted ways with our host after lunch to return to the Newark campus.
The Newark class section would see Ms. Cartanza again, albeit remotely, for Monday’s first class guest lecture.
Graced by Ms. CARTANZA’s presence yet again, she both repeated and elaborated on some of the finer points she had made on the field trip.
Having had extensive experience in the poultry industry as a field supervisor, waking up anywhere from 4-7am and working 50 hours a week minimum, to working as an employee at Mountaire teaching people how to build two times bigger, better chicken houses, Ms. Cartanza still had a wealth of knowledge to impart.
Working as an organic poultry contract farmer, for Perdue’s organic Division Coleman, Ms. Cartanza shared some of the logistic and political issues surrounding the operation of her farm and organic poultry farms in general.
Because contract farmers compete for their contracts with different companies, growing their chicken competitively. Ms. Cartanza’s in a smaller 20acre farm, one of many strewn about the state and the peninsula, but with ¼ of the U.S. population within eight hours of her location, she maintains an edge on the competition. Delaware is not the leader in broiler production, but it does have the most broilers per square mile, with the largest organic processing plant in the country.
The poultry not only has to generate income for the company, but also pay for the capital involved in producing it- the cost of four chicken houses is much more expensive that the land they’re placed on, coming in at over $1.5mil whereas the acreage was just $20, 000. The biggest expense Ms. Cartanza said she faced after chicken feed was her mortgage and electric.
She, as a Nuffield scholar having spent time in Brazil as well as Mexico, Cornell, Ireland, & France, had not just a local Delmarva or U.S. perspective on poultry farming, but a global one.
Ms. Cartanza said a lot of the expenses and adjustments she must make around her farm don’t necessarily come from government agencies as a result of scientific study, but from the uniformed masses and their personal feelings on what makes chickens, ‘happy’.
For example, Ms. Cartanza said she has a manual composter that’s worth $12, 000 and is capable of processing 1.5 flocks, while her Canada-made EcoDrum, with it’s inverse-composting can process 5 flocks with less time and effort from the farmer. The new equipment isn’t really necessary, but it looked good to environmentalists. Chickens purportedly need 4-8hrs of darkness for melatonin production, but that may not actually help the birds at all.
Another example would be the way chicken houses have been restructured over the years. Ms. Cartanza pointed out while we were at her farm, that the window sizes on the building had to be upped due to evolving public sentiment around the amount of light chickens require to be, ‘happy’, but not necessarily healthier. The larger windows decrease the R-value of the overall house, while the transition from curtain-sided to solid-sidewall houses increase the R-value.
Outside the houses, in the pasture area, Ms. Cartanza must provide shade-areas, buffers, and enrichments that can take the form of patches of warm season grasses, like cattails and miscanthus, trees, like hybrid willows, and toys, like ‘bully boxes’ and ramps. Some of these additions, like the buffers, can help remove harmful particulates from the air, appeasing nearby neighbors, but the grasses can also add to the difficult of managing the chickens environment, creating dense growth that chickens can hide and be lost to the farmer in.
Once the 2-day-old chicks we interacted with reach three weeks old, they will have the option to go outside the chicken house. Allowing chickens to go outside makes them more at risk for predation and contamination from other birds and their droppings in the pasture that could carry Avian Flu virus. The chickens will instinctively stay inside at high noon when they are most visible from overhead, but they also seem to be most comfortable in the artificial, but regulated environment of the houses. The houses are kept at 92degrees F° via large tunnel ventilators that suck out the 8btus of heat that each chicken produces and also blows cool air through the chicken houses, protecting the birds from heat exhaustion by extracting body heat
The organic process also has restrictions on how it maintains the physical health and the environment of the chickens. Ms. Cartanza is permitted to use substances such as oregano, apple cider vinegar, copper sulfate, boric acid, and liquefied citric acid to care for the chickens.
Technology allows Ms. Cartanza to care for 37, 000 chickens more or less independently, but years ago that would have been impossible. That relative ease allows Ms. Cartanza to theoretically fed 780, 000 families from the output of her farm.
People who don’t like the poultry industry might be hard-pressed to find fault with the jobs it creates or how it helps the local economy- for every 1 jobs in poultry, 7 are created in the wider community. Labels in marketing are also used to sway public opinion- ABF or ‘Antibiotic Free’ chickens applies to any U.S. chicken, as the chickens must be cut off of any antibiotics 2 weeks before processing; NAE or ‘No Antibiotics Ever’ sounds good in theory and may appease animal welfare groups, but allowing chickens to potentially suffer for the sake of the label is debatable; and Organic chicken means a chicken is free-range and feed only GMO free feed from organic certified ground, which means additional organic corn and soybeans must be sourced from foreign countries like Argentina and Turkey, increasing the carbon footprint of the organic. The Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a coalition of vegetarians formed by Whole Foods that can threaten chain restaurants and businesses that don’t sell the type of meat they sign-off on, and other political figures with specifics leanings
Genetics, nutrition, housing, and technology have contributed to increasingly larger chickens. In 1957 chickens took 56 days to grow 2lbs,- today a modern chicken can reach 9lbs in the same amount of time. No steroids used- selective breeding makes larger chickens. Maturing in about 20 days, they are able to evolve faster.
Ms. Cartanza stresses the importance of environmental stewardship, saying poultry farmers don’t want their farms to be unhealthy or toxic places- they raise their families on the farm. They also don’t want suffering or dying birds- lost birds means a loss of money. At the sound of an alarm, a farmer may have to wake up very early, climb a grain bin, run to restore power, or confront a predator or pest- they may have as little as 20minutes to save a flock in the wake of natural disaster of power failure. She mentioned CO2stunning used in a Milford poultry plant to put chickens to sleep before processing- must be alive to process.
Ms. Cartanza says the next big issue facing poultry farmers after the nutrient pollution of waterways will be air quality, though the sustainably of poultry farming itself, whether from an economic or environmental standpoint will be debated as well. A big part of farming in general is the effect it has on the environment. Farmers can be easy targets, when only 2% of the U.S. voters farm and of that number most face more strict regulations on how they farm than a golf course owner or someone with a residential property applying a myriad of various chemicals to their properties.
For Ms. Cartanza herself and her farm, her next big challenge might just be eliminating some of her power costs, one of her biggest expenses as previously mentioned, at $5, 000 a month. With a housing unit for an off-grid 20,000V power generator, Ms. Cartanza may consider going solar next. A solar power system would take 15 years to pay off an might last for 25-35years. A part of the farming process is weigh risks, and Ms. Cartanza deemed the risk too great.
Regardless of an individuals approach to poultry farming, or working in general, Ms. Cartanza reminds the class of the importance of maintaining humility and, ‘doing little things well’. She also reiterates the importance of vetting the news and the science and not discounting another person’s views. Even though she grows organic, she did it to follow the market and industry’s trajectory towards increasingly organic foods. Ms. Cartanza did say she will buy and eat conventional chicken and has noticed no difference in quality. She also states it is impossible to feed the world organically- in 2050, 9bilion people are projected to inhabit the world.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip and the lecture. Some memorable events include:
- One chick slated to be euthanized later by ethical/humane cervical dislocation, i.e., ‘wringing it’s neck’, possibly due to an error in the in-egg fertilization process where a needle is placed through the egg shell 3days before the chicks birth which may have caused ‘Star-gaze syndrome’, piercing the birds’ spinal cord
- Holding a 2 day old chick in my bare hands that could barely stay awake
- Learning that, contrary to what I had read previously, chickens are still caught by hand and live-hungèmachines were not as successful as hoped
- Perdue tried for 1yr, but the results still were not as good as the 7man team that can take up to 4 6.5lb birds in each hand & can earn up to $30,00 a year catching poultry 6days a weekèEurope is often a few years ahead of the U.S. as far as tech
- The Chik-fil-A lunch that followed where I saw a WW2 vet
On Saturday, September 7th, our class went on a field trip to a poultry farm run by Georgie Cortanza in Kent County, Delaware. She has 4 chicken houses which hold 37,000 chickens a house and 148,000 chickens in total. They weigh 913,900 pounds a flock. A flock is a certain number of birds in one group. She has 5.5 flocks in one year and makes 5,000,000 pounds a year. In total, she feeds 59,808 people a year. Georgies runs an organic farm, meaning that all the chickens there are free range. This means that they get to go outside for a period of time each day.
Chickens are one of the animals that have a lower carbon footprint. The only one lower is fish! The carbon index for chicken is 6.2 versus cows which is 16.2. A chicken also requires less feed for an outcome, which makes it better economically for the farmer. For every 1 job in the poultry industry, it creates 7 more jobs.
My favorite part of the field trip was seeing the baby chicks of course. They are very soft and fun to hold.
This field trip in the poultry farm was fascinating. I am glad to learn many new things about that not only the agriculture, but also the future career and life. It is a rare chance to engage this kind of activities. Mrs. Georgie Cortanza run this organic poultry farm well. And she explained what organic chicken mean is. The chicken has to had players, an opportunity to access to the outdoors and enjoy the natural light which means that install windows in the chicken house, a big chicken house, be fed organic food, and not be fed any growth hormones or antibiotics. Consumers claimed those factors that can make chicken become a “happy” and “healthy” chicken and it is humanity. But the thing is that when chicken can enjoy outdoor time and no antibiotics, the chance to get sick may increase, when they enjoy natural light, they will be more active, then they will have more movement, then they will lose weight. We don’t know if chicken is happy or not. Like the Mrs. Cortanza said, when you focus on a side, you gonna lose other side. It depends. That is what I learn in today.
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.
On November 10th, 2018 we went on a trip to UD’s farm. Even though it was cold and windy I had a lot of fun getting to see new parts of the farm I had never been into yet. Scott Hopkins gave us a tour and talked about everything that goes on there. He is the farm superintendent and told us that the farm consists of an organic farm, horses, sheep, 25 beef cattle, and 85 dairy cattle. The farm provides its food products to restaurants and to UD students through a produce stand, Star Campus, and UDairy. He also wasn’t sure what to say as the most exciting research project when asked due to them all being interesting for different things. On the farm they have research being done with everything from bees to rice.
For me I enjoyed seeing the new parts of the farm I hadn’t been to yet since I’m a plant science and landscape horticulture and design double major. I have seen the dairy cows, the rice plots, the bees, and the organic farm. The new part for me was seeing the Webb farm since I haven’t taken any classes that are over there. Over on Webb farm are where the beef cattle, sheep, and horses are. It was nice getting to see this side of the farm since I had never seen it before. I had a lot of fun getting to see more of the farm. Thank you Scott Hopkins for giving us a tour of the farm and answering our questions.