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.