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 guest lecture was very interesting and informal. I’m glad we can have someone like Dan Severson who gets to explain to us about livestock. He is very knowledgeable about not only livestock but about the rest of the agricultural industry. My favorite part of his presentation was a brief part but it’s when he talked about the rising of bee keeping. I’ve only scraped the surfaces about beekeeping and hardly know anything at all. It is a topic that has always intrigued me, it especially does now with the drastically decreasing bee population throughout the world. Knowing that it is a increasing industry it makes me really happy to hear that it shows that people are starting to get the picture that bees are important to this world. Another thing which might make me sound a little dumb is that with show animals I always thought that they were judged on appearance not by the cut of beef or pork. But, it definitely makes sense that they are judged that way and it will change the way I view show animals now when I head up the the Farm show in Harrisburg.
For the Product review I picked All-Natural Biodegradable Kitty Litter. I don’t go to the grocery store to much unless I need things for a specific recipe I am making (which is not an efficient way to go to the store). This product is made by the company The Good Earth on the front of this Litter it says Non-Gmo. It is made of 100% American grown grass which is pretty cool I guess. I don’t think it would make a difference to the cat really if the grass was genetically modified or not. I mean I know my cat wouldn’t care for my cat we use a newspaper thing call yesterdays news its made out of newspaper pellets and its easy to clean and holds smell in pretty well. It also breaks down in water very easily.
Last Monday, Dan Severson gave a guest lecture on the livestock industry in Delaware. The average annual consumption of beef, pork, lab, goat, and veal has been declining for decades, while the consumption of poultry has been steadily increasing. Food is more affordable in the U.S. than most other countries, with the average American devoting around 9.7% of their household expenditure to buying food.
Of beef cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, diary, and other livestock, beef cattle is the most common in Delaware. Beef cattle in Delaware comprise 14,000 cattle on 235 farms. The second most numerous livestock animals in Delaware are hogs, with 55 farms raising around 6,000 hogs. Approximately 3,000 sheep and goats are raised on 180 Delaware farms. Dairy has shrunk to a mere 21 farms with 4,500 dairy cows. Delaware’s dairy industry is on the decline, with many small family farms trending towards closure. Other livestock raised in Delaware includes bison, alpacas, llamas, rabbits, water buffalo, bees, deer, chicken, turkeys, and emus.
Dan also discussed modern marketing strategies and labeling, such as non GMO, gluten free, organic, antibiotic free, and all natural. Dan finds most of these labels unnecessary, as in the case of salt being labelled gluten free.
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.
On October 22 our AGRI130 had Dan Severson come in and give a lecture on the livestock industry of Delaware. And how important livestock is to the state of Delaware. Dan talked about cows, sheep, pigs, goats and dairy with brief discussion on each animals info and what they are used for and what the income per year they are averaging. From this the most surprising thing that I took away from the lecture was when he began to talk about how the dairy industry is just plummeting. And giving my fellow class mates the idea what dairy farmers are dealing with an what they have to do to over come there circumstances. Also what I took away from his lecture was how many other livestock animals there are in Delaware.
Dan Severson’s guest lecture on the livestock industry covered all species of livestock used for production in Delaware. Growing up on a dairy farm and being very active in 4-H showing my dairy cattle I knew a little bit about the livestock industry. However Dan taught me some pretty interesting facts such as there’s a water buffalo farm in Delaware and that people raise rabbits for food production. I found these facts very eye-opening to how diverse the livestock industry in Delaware is and how many different opportunities there are for young people to get into the industry. I also learned that to be considered a farmer all you have to do is make a profit of $1,000 off your production. This surprises me because virtually anybody could be considered a farmer if they have a garden or a pasture because $1,000 is not really that much when you think about it. While Dan’s lecture was very informational it was also sad because when he talked about the dairy industry it really hit home. Coming from a farm that had milked cows for 150 years and sold out just 5 years ago I understand the sadness these dairy farmers are feeling. Luckily my family had diversified in agriculture and had expanded our grain operation but for many of these farmers their source of income is gone and their left helpless once the cows are sold. Overall I found Dan’s lecture to be very informative and I hope it helped some of the students in the class realize how hard farmers have it in the livestock industry.
Dan Severson came and guest lectured in class on Monday about the livestock industry in Delaware. He started out by giving a brief overview of general trends in farming, and then meat consumption trends over the years. I was not very surprised when he said the consumption of beef and veal have been decreasing while pork and chicken have been increasing. This is probably due to many recent trends that red meat is harmful to your health, so consumers are choosing cuts of pork and chicken to eat versus beef. After that he discussed a lot about the differing operation methods for many species of livestock including cattle, hogs, sheeps, goats, dairy cows and a couple other specialty species. I was surprised to learn how much of a market their is for goat products. Dan said a lot of international folks seeks out goat meat for religious purposes and holidays, but also products like goat milk cheesecake and ice cream are made. He also talked about the dairy industry and how farmers are struggling to make ends meet due to the milk market. People don’t drink cow’s milk like they used to and it is affecting dairy farmers.
At the end of his lecture Dan spoke about the future of the livestock industry. He touched on how genetics and technology has already and will continue to impact how we raise our animals. But he also spoke about how farmers are running into the problem of the next generation not wanting to continue to farm, and how all these different factors is going to affect the ability to feed the ever growing population. Overall, Dan gave a great overview of the livestock industry touching on past, current, and future trends.
Dan Severson guest lecture provided an insight into Delaware agriculture and the livestock industry. Throughout this presentation I learned a lot about Delaware’s agriculture that surprised me. Delaware ranks first in the U.S. in value of agricultural production per acre and second in value per farm. Being that Delaware is such a small state, this ranking really shocked me. I also learned that 40% of Delaware’s total land is farm land and an astonishing 29% of Delaware’s total land consists of corn and soybean crops – which makes sense being that poultry production is such a huge commodity in the Delmarva area. Severson also helped to portray the typical farm in Delaware. More than half of the farms operate less than 50 acre and bring in less than $50,000 per year. After providing a broad overview of the local agriculture, he went into depth about the dairy, beef, sheep, goat and swine operations within Delaware and a few staples from each – such as their average contribution to the economy or the common uses of each animal (ie: meat, wool, dairy products, genetics/show, etc.). I found this lecture to be one of my favorites – he was very knowledgable about each industry and provided great insight into each.
In the United States 98% of farms are family owned and operated while 2% of the U.S. population produces your meals. Livestock is animals that are raised for meat for human consumption. Dan Severson, New Castle County Extension Agent educated my class about the diversity of livestock.
In Delaware, we have 296,380 head of beef cattle. These cattle are raised in a cow/calf, feedlots or stocker operation. We also have people who raise beef to show and for direct market. It contributes $6 million to our economy.
Hogs are raised on a farrow to finish, farrow to feeders, or feeders to finish farm. They have $2 million industry with 59,580 head of hogs grown in Delaware annually. Hogs can also be raised for show, direct market or in a pasture.
Sheep contribute $92,000, with 69,104 of them. They are typically raised in a backyard, as a part-time job, and for show, hair or wool.
Contributing $125,000, goats have three different kinds – meat, milk and Angora. Goats are grown for direct market, show or because they are a niche. We typically use goat milk for soap and lotion.
We do have a large population of poultry grown in Delaware and were spoke about in depth with Georgie Cartanza. Other livestock in Delaware include bees, bison, alpaca, rabbits, water buffalo, deer and elk.
The guest lecture we had from Dan Severson about the Livestock right here in Delaware gave us a deeper look into this industry which may be happening right next door to us. About 40% if Delaware’s land area is in farms, with more than half the farms being under 50 acres. 96% of these farms are family owned, which surprised me a lot. It is special to think that the food produced in this state comes from a majority and family operation on their farms, and not picturing some big commercial farm.
One fact that surprised me was the ranking of average annual per capita consumption of meat, with the top three being beef, pork, then poultry because I would have thought poultry would have been higher up as I have heard that people are switching away from red meat to poultry.
Another thing that was mentioned in this lecture was the other livestock besides beef, pork, poultry, lamb, goat, and veal. This includes bees, bison, alpaca, rabbits, water buffalo, deer, elk, and others. Something that I have not given much thought about until recently, which has led me to do some more research on my own, is the honey bee industry. I have been learning that not only do bees play such a tremendous role in our eco-system with their pollination, but some bee-keepers will actually have bees in a northern part of the country for half the year, then when it gets cold they will transport them to a more southern area. Additionally, something that I found out that relates to my major/career path is that as of last January, anything that may be sprayed on the bees such as an antibiotic, it has to be prescribed by a veterinarian. This also raises a question for me about crickets and if this will soon be a law for them, as they are being used as a food supplement for protein!
Dan Severson made several compelling points throughout his guest lecture. My favorite aspect of his lecture was the discussion of family farming. The general public has a misconception about factory farming vs. family farming. Most of the country does not know that the vast majority (96%) of farms are family owned, even if they are quite large. Dan Severson took it a step further, and explained what it would take to make a living off of a farm. He dove into facts regarding meat consumption per capita, family income and food costs, and the actual percentage of farmers there are countrywide (2%). Dan Severson explained how agriculture is such a difficult business to thrive in. It depends on the weather, the market, and the technology available. Farming is expensive, labor intensive, and difficult to perfect. I enjoyed how he explained in details different categories of farming such as poultry, beef, sheep, and dairy. The break down helped me be able to visualize every day responsibilities and challenges that these farmers face. I appreciate having heard Dan Severson speak!
Dan Severson is a New Castle County Extension Agent who lectured us about the Livestock Industry in Delaware. Dan went through a variety of animals and how they impacted Delaware. What really shocked me was that 96% of Delaware farms are family owned. As well, I didn’t know how much beef and pork consumption there actually is. I’ve always assumed that poultry was the most consumed, but it ranks third. Poultry in Delaware brings in the most money by far, but I didn’t know how well beef, dairy, and hogs accounted for. Dan’s knowledge for the livestock industry allowed for myself to learn a bunch of new information regarding the demographics and the overview of an industry I didn’t necessarily know much about.
Listening to Dan Severson lecture about the livestock industry was very interesting and captivating. I honestly knew little about the livestock industry and Dan’s lecture allowed me to understand a little more about the livestock industry and specifically, Delaware Farms. The piece of information that shocked me the most, was the fact that 96% of family farms are family owned. This was new information to me, as I usually hear about corporate farms and such dominating the agricultural industry. I also was surprised to see that the top three biggest meat consumption products are beef, pork, and poultry. I honestly though poultry was dominating the market, but to see beef and pork ahead was interesting to learn. Looking at statistics of the U.S. compared to around the world also helped me better understand todays current agriculture market and economy.