Actually, it has two, and last Friday, all the MSc students in the school of agriculture got to go see them for ourselves!
The first stop of the day was at Cockle Park Farm, a 262 ha conventional farm.
It’s not a castle, but it is a fortified dwelling. The medieval residents could pull their livestock inside the lower levels to protect them from bandits.
It’s fairly safe to assume that the pigs were my favorite part of this farm visit. Maybe I’ll figure out a dissertation topic that deals with swine…
Most of the cows were out on the pasture, but these ladies were inside because they were close to calving or had health issues.
Leftover wool in the sheep shed
These are Friesian/Holstein crosses
Then we were off to Nafferton Farm, a 300 ha farm pretty evenly split between conventional and organic farming.
Like at Cockle Park, most of the cows were out on the grass.
It wouldn’t be a farm without the obligatory farm cat.
The highlight of the Nafferton visit was the calf barn. Some of them were only a day or so old. These guys are a little older, but still super cute!
It was silage day at Nafferton, so there were tractors and machinery everywhere.
This cow was reaching for some silage, but when he picked some up to feed to her, she suddenly decided she didn’t want any…
Many of the buildings at Nafferton are old stone structures with lots of character.
On the test plots, they grow an 8 year rotation of crops and study the effects of different kinds of fertilizer and pesticides. These soy beans will eventually make their way into animal feed.
They milk both conventional and organic cows in this parlour. The organic cows stay on one side, the conventional cows stay on the other, and the milk is piped to separate tanks.
The farms are beautiful, and the weather was absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to spend more time out here and to learn everything I possibly can.