Last Saturday on November 1st, we went on a tour of the UD farm. More specifically we focused on the different animals that the farm works with and how they are used in the agriculture industry. However, oddly enough we didn’t take tours of the poultry part of the farm but we did get a tour of the cows and the equipment used to milk them. It was fascinating finding out that the milking process was not only time consuming, but also required many different aspects to the programming of the machine. Each cows milking specification varied and any issue that occurs could mess up the process drastically. Other parts we toured were the sheep, which are mostly slaughtered. Overall what I gained from the tour was the the process of running has many different aspects such as cleaning the cows, mixing the feed, and collecting the waste. There’s no job that is simple and if not done correctly could end up reducing the productiveness of the farm.
On November 2, 2019, our class had its last field trip and to none other than the University’s own research farm. Out of all the field trips, this one was the most informative to me. There is a lot that goes into maintaining a research farm that many people do not understand. Scott Hopkins, the superintendent of the research farm, explained to our class that there are various tasks and responsibilities that are required in maintaining the farm but even so, he loves it. What he loves most, is when he shows people with very little or no knowledge of farming what goes on and seeing the look they have in their eyes; full of awe and amazement. Some of the people, however, that don’t come with some background knowledge can also be a problem. “Always ask before doing anything on another person’s farm!” Scott Hopkins advised. Many times people have done things like touch an animal or pick crops that put either the animal or the human at risk. He explained that some people will just pick some corn and it was part of a research experiment so not only did they mess up the data, but may have also endangered themselves. Even so, Scott Hopkins also enjoys all of the data analysis and research because “I’m kind of science-brained so it’s all pretty exciting to me.” The most exciting research project to him was artificially inseminating a group of queen bees with a single drone. Due to advancements in technology, he is able to experience these great milestones in science and agriculture.
On November 2nd, the class traveled up to Newark, Delaware to meet Scott Hopkins, a superintendent and crop manager of the researched-based Webb Farm on the UD campus. He introduced to us the importance of research done on the farm with livestock as well as crops. Currently, the farm contains Dorset sheep, an Angus cattle herd and equine herd with greenhouses and acreage used for leafy greens, tomatoes, okra, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and other produce. Large portions of the fresh fruit and vegetables grown there follow the Fresh to You segment which delivers organics to subscribing customer’s doorsteps. This farm also provides for farmers markets and shopping centers. Scott Hopkins works on and conducts research on cow milk, their feed, and sheep wool as shown in the photos below. He gave the class a tour of the areas where the livestock are kept and how they are taken care of. While showing us the farm on campus, he told us that his most favorite thing about working in his position is teaching students about the agricultural experience, because today, many people have become separated from knowing how their food made its way to their plate. He brought up the topic of agriculture and explained the scientific approach to it, which I think is very important to consumers to ensure the health of ourselves as well as the animals and plant products we consume every day.
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 the second time that I’ve taken a tour of the UD south campus farms, so I was pretty familiar with everything there. First we went to see the organic farm, which is used for classes and the produce is sold. We then saw the dairy cows and their milking facility. Dairy cows are my favorite farm animal because they are like large dogs, they just want to be loved. They seemed pretty relaxed and chill, and I appreciated that. We then saw a bit more of where they keep the dairy cows and saw the machines where they keep them in place when working on their feet or giving them any sort of treatments.
Next we went past the chickens, though we didn’t go in, because we could track in viruses or diseases that could be harmful to the chickens. After that, we went past the bees and their hive as well has some other small farms used for classes and research.
Once we crossed the road, we got to the sheep and horses stable. Sadly, they didn’t have any horses at the time, but our guide showed us some of the reasons why the stables were built in the specific way. For example, the sides of each enclosed stable is see through so that the horses can see each other. I also found out that horses are one of two mammals that can actually stop their labor and continue at another time.
Next we saw the sheep and some lambs. I got to pet a lamb for the first time. There were also some older cows next to the sheep, who were also chilling much like the dairy cows. The sheep have access to the outside to roam around when they feel like it, but the one sheep and the two lambs did not have a very open space, because one had a medical problem, and it’s easier to get them for treatment in a smaller enclosement. I enjoyed our more in depth tour of the farm, but I wish it wasn’t so cold!
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 November 4th, my class had the privilege of meeting the University of Delaware’s Newark farms superintendent, Scott Hopkins, who led the tour for us. We started the tour with an introduction to the dairy herd that supplies us our beloved UDairy ice cream. Scott Hopkins explained that the dairy herd was the most difficult and time consuming livestock on the farm due to the amount labor, time and research that goes into the herd. I found it really interesting to see how feed studies were conducted on a herd within by the use of ID collars that would sync with a specific feed bin that granted that specific cow access to its feed. This practice helps to conclude that technology plays a major role in livestock production. We then moved onto the poultry section of the farm where he explained to us why there were so many small shed-like houses. These are used for testing immunology and virolity amongst small flocks of birds. I think that this field of research is so fascinating and important, especially since the poultry industry is huge to the Delmarva area. Next, we ventured to Webb Farm where we learned about the beef management practices, equine practices, as well as the sheep practices. Currently, the farm is tracking estrous in the ewes and are monitoring breedings and whether or not the ewes take. They track this by recording which ewes have the color coded chalk on their backs – marking a mounting by the ram – and crossing the presence of chalk with their estrous cycles. Scott was very informational and provided a lot of insight into how much work really goes into running a successful farming operation. He was well versed and had a tremendously wide amount of knowledge. I learned a lot on this trip and I hope to continue learning more about management practices throughout my time here at the University of Delaware
On Saturday our class took the last field trip to the research farm at Newark. Scott Hopkins gave us a tour of the farm which had livestock such as cows, sheep, and horses, and also fields for vegetable production. He explained how they have a section they grow basically organic so that students can experience how much more work it is to produce organic crops. It was amazing to see how the cows were trained to eat at the same place everyday and all the tests they did on them. The horse barn was also interesting because they built it to make the horses feel more comfortable. The farm is roughly 350 acres split between all the different sections, it was very well maintained and pretty. Despite the very chilly and windy weather, it was a great experience. Mr. Hopkins was very passionate about his job and easily connected with the students. He had so much knowledge about so many topics and was so easy to talk to. This field trip was a great way to end.
This past Saturday November 4th, we had our last field trip visiting our own University of Delaware Newark farm. We were toured around by Scott Hopkins who oversees the operations on the farm.
The Newark farm consists of greenhouses, crop plants, wetlands, and livestock. The farm is roughly 350 acres of land. The first stop Scott took us to were the two green houses where students have the opportunity to plant crops and record/analyze the growth. If the plant was to die, then the students had to weigh in factors of how the plant could have died. We then visited the dairy cows and the milk parlor, here Scott gave us the rundown on how the feeding operation and as well the milking is done. The cows are trained to go to an assigned cubby, here they have FABS on which gives access to food. There are between 80-85 cows being milked numerous times a day here they use an anti-bacterial spray before milking and after milking. Each cow produces between 6-8 gallons of milk each day. The milk is retrieved and goes to the basement of the parlor. Scott then showed us where the calf’s stay which is a big doggy pen where they’ll stay for 2-3 months. The calves are goofy and attempted on sucking on everything! From here we went to the bus and went up the road where we stopped at the poultry section. Here there were multiple houses for different types of chickens where research is taken placed.
Upon arriving the other side of the farm, we drove passed the wetlands which have been designed through the Wildlife Ecology group. On this side of the farm the beef cattle, the ewes, and the horses are held. We first went to the equine building where the horses and as well classes are held, there were six stables and as well two areas for either artificial insemination or for class purposes. Scott mentioned that the stables are opened instead of being enclosed to keep the horses comfortable. We were then taken to Scott’s “biggest failure” compost section where compost is placed until it reaches around 130 degrees and then it is placed wherever seen fit. After this we went to the ewe’s farm here we learned that the ewes have been placed in two groups one group with the older ram and the other group with the younger ram. When rams have mounted a female, spray paint is placed to show which female has been mounted. Lastly, we went to the beef cattle section where the cattle are raised on a free-ranged land to graze until it’s time for slaughter. Scott was very passionate about his job and made sure we understood that being experienced in the field is better than being book smart. He was very knowledgeable and took this opportunity to show the farm off quite seriously making sure we retained information.
Being a senior Pre-Veterinary Medicine major on the University of Delaware’s main campus in Newark, I have had the opportunity to learn, volunteer, and work on the UD Newark Farm on multiple occasions. However, I had never received a tour as thorough as the one given by Scott Hopkins, the farm superintendent.
I learned the most about UD’s Webb Farm, where we have horses, sheep, and beef cattle. I had always known we had horses on campus, but I never fully understood why or who interacted with them. Thanks to Scott, I now know of all the high tech and well thought out aspects that our horse stables and attached building have to offer. From a scale built into the floor, to the grated stalls instead of panels, or even to the potential for video cameras to watch foaling since horses can stop parturition if they get nervous or surprised, the possibilities are endless. It was also very interesting to learn that things we learn in classes, such as titrations in chemistry, can be utilized in the real world, specifically in horses to formulate a timeline of foaling.
Overall, it was great to explore my own campus more in-depth than I have had in the past. I found this experience to be a great example of the old motto, “You learn something new every day!”
This past Saturday was our last field trip that I, unfortunately, could not make it to. But, fortunately, I have been to the Webb Farm many times in many other classes over the past 3 years. The dairy, beef, sheep, chicken, and horse facilities are great for research and learning about the different livestock used today. My freshman year I was fortunate to be in a class that allowed us to visit every building and learn about each. I heard that the superintendent, Scott Hopkins, mentioned that the dairy cows are the most challenging animal to care for on the farm. It is very labor intensive to control such a large herd let alone milk them twice a day. They are also put on feed trails to conduct studies on how diet affects their milk production and even how pregnancy affects their diet and milk production. The beef cattle are also great for research and for studying the effect of being fed more grass rather than grain. The sheep facility is the most interesting to me because before coming to the University I had no previous exposure to sheep. It is very cool to know they use crayons on the females for mating to see when the sheep are in heat. They are very much herd animals that are hard to separate. My favorite part of the farm is the horses. They are very interesting animals that can even stop birth if they think the conditions are not right. Not only are they accident prone, but they are very versatile to use for things like therapeutic riding, and even weight pulling. I’m very grateful to be able to attend a university with such great resources close enough to walk to.
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.
Although I was not able to attend the field trip this weekend, again due to vet school interviews and upcoming exams, I was able to get some information on it. After reading some posts and having my friends reiterate what happened, I find that the field trip was like a collection of all the knowledge I have gained through my ANFS classes.
The tour guide for the day talked about all the information we learn in the vast opportunities the farm offers UD students, such as volunteering, jobs, research, and labs. The guide talked about some of the feedstuffs. One of the most prominent ones being silages, which you can see being made in the silo bags around the farm. He also talked about the dairy cattle, who are a huge resource here for students. We learn how to milk cows properly, how to make ice, cream and about dietary research, typically dealing with the rumen.
Not only do we learn about dairy, but we learn about beef cattle when we are on the farm. They are not only important for learning about the beef industry, but in taking ANFS251, we learn about how to properly score the beef cattle on a range of 1-9. Another large animal we learn about are equines, or horses if you will. The horses here are a great learning opportunity, especially for scoring and behavior. Some of the ones we have at the UD farm are rescues or are too old to race any longer.
We also have sheep. My freshman year we learned a lot about sheep and how they act as a herd. We learned how they are flock animals and we have to herd them inside as such. Not only this but we learned how to separate them from the group as to trim the hooves (something I didn’t know was possible until coming to UD). One of the things I found interesting, that the guide retold, was how we can see if sheep have been mated using “crayons.” We check the females backends for coloring to see if the male had mated with her, as he has the coloration on his chest.
And one of the most notable forms of research, dealing with animals, on UD is chickens. Throughout the last semester, I often saw chickens being vaccinated and being tested. One of the places the students learned about on the trip was the poultry house and how we test for different variables and vaccines.
These are all really important aspects of the UD farm and wonderful opportunities. I am very thankful for all the wonderful teachers, and not just the ones you find in a classroom.