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 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.
On Saturday, last field trip was in UD farm. Scott Hopkins gave us a tour of the UD farm! There are crop fields, livestock industry, greenhouses, and wetland creation site.
We went to visited dairy cows and young dairy cows first. There are milking room, feeding room, and young dairy cow living area. Scott Hopkins did a brief introduction about how milking and feeding progress. The cows were trained to eat in their own food box, which surprised me a lot.
That way is much easier to check how much they eat and their health situation. Milking room is very clean, which is very important for a livestock industry. There is an anti-bacterial spray in the middle of the milking room for workers use. There are much more cows than what I thought.
In the young cows living area, everyone has their own house and berries around the door of the house to avoid they come out. Those cows just like big dogs. They are very friendly and nice to people. They just like a puppy, like to put everything into their mouth. What a puppy do is chew, but they like suck.
What is more, I think the wetland site is a very peaceful area for people to walk through. It enjoyed this trip a lot!