One of the big bonuses of helping Mark Isaacs with Understanding Today’s Agriculture is accompanying the class on the tours. I always absorb something new, and on this cold and blustery Saturday, learned that Farm Superintendent Scott Hopkins is responsible for planting all the trees that line the gravel road approaching the livestock portion of the farm. Scott incorporates beauty and function Into everything he does—a terrific example of establishing balance on a working, teaching farm.
This fourth trip ended with a special treat — the musical talents of first year student Max Huhn, who has been playing for 12 years. As an aspiring guitarist and mandolinist myself, I appreciated his command of the fiddle, and his passion for traditional Irish and Bluegrass music. After a morning of encroaching winter weather and a delicious dose of UDairy Creamery (thank you Mark) our hearts and bodies were warmed! Dr. Limin Kung was on hand to open up the Commons where Max took center stage! He treated the class to a half hour concert, and a segment of that performance provides the soundtrack to this short recap of our tour. I could have listened to Max all day! Max opens with his own original composition, “Ghost Cow” and transitions into a traditional Irish tune entitled “Tam Lin.” Enjoy!
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.
I am really glad that I was able to attend this field trip. I feel as though it is something that almost every student in the college of agriculture does. With absolutely no farm background growing up, I always love being exposed to everything that agriculture has to offer. I usually only step foot on a farm if they are hosting an event that’s open to the public. I hope that in the future I can keep being exposed to the busy lives people in the agricultural industry. I saw how organized the farm has to be to be able to run smoothly. I was sort of surprised when Mr. Hopkins told us that his house is located on the UD farm. As I thought about it more, I realized just how important it must be for Mr. Hopkins to live on the farm. He is able to take care of anything on the farm that doesn’t go as planned. This can include caring for a sick animal or being around to milk the dairy cows twice per day. Hopefully I will get to spend more time around the farm in the future.
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.
During our visits to the UD Ag Farm we were fortunate enough to visits a variety amount of sites, such as where cows are milked, where the calfes are housed, horse barn, sheep barn, cattle pen, followed by a delicious treat at the UD Creamery. Scott Hopkins, the head director for UD’s Ag farm on the newark farm was who led us throughout the day, explaining in great detail at every stop we made. Some interesting facts about the farm include such things as the farm be 350 acres, 80-85 cows, calf’s are housed in small little houses for a certain amount of time, and also all the ice cream comes from the farm. After finishing the tour you could really sense that Scott is very passionate about what he does and that he cares about teaching young people, us, which is our country’s future. One of the best parts of the trip was the creamery, which was the best ice cream ive ever had, and I definitely intend on stopping in again.
Our field trip around the University of Delaware farm located in Newark was the most informative and my personal favorite. Farm superintendent Scott Hopkins joined the class on the bus as we toured the five main sectors of the farm. From vegetable production, poultry, dairy, equine, and the animals located on the Webb Farm, Mr. Hopkins oversees and facilitates the day to day operations on the farm.
Mr. Hopkins is a very engaging speaker and was able to easily relate to the students. His down to earth nature seemed to resonate with the class in such a way very few speakers are able to do. Visiting the baby calves was certainly fun, however learning about the milking process, digestive tract, and consistency of feed for the dairy cows was very interesting. While I knew Mr. Hopkins before this field trip, I have a new appreciation for his ability to balance so many tasks simultaneously and his ability to determine which facet of the farm requires his attention.
The field trip ended with a stop at the UDairy Creamery for some ice cream despite the chilly weather. The French toast ice cream with strawberry shortcake swirls may have been the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Touring the entire farm really helped me to appreciate what a great resource AG students have here at the University.
Not only was this past Saturdays weather very cool, so was our field trip around the Newark farm. Scott Hopkins, the University of Delaware farm superintendent gave us a fascinating tour of the Webb Farm.
We were fortunate enough to see the milking parlor and learn that dairy cows are the most challenging animal to care for on the farm. Growing up on my families dairy operation I was able to see and experience first hand how labor extensive taking care of dairy cows can be and understood greatly what Scott Hopkins was explaining.
Not only did we see the dairy operation but we saw the beef, sheep and equine facilities. The equine facility was rather new with a large classroom that was very versatile and could also be used a spot for more hands on learning such as artificial insemination, collecting semen or even having the option to do some horse therapy and therapeutic riding. We also learned about the extensive research projects being conducted, Mr. Hopkins favorite being forage research.
We ended our trip with a stop at UDairy creamery. This was for sure one of my favorite field trips because of all the research being done in such close proximity.