Ag Day 2014 featured beautiful weather, great entertainment, a variety of agricultural and natural resource exhibits and the unexpected birth of a baby calf on the University of Delaware farm. The event was a great success with a robust attendance similar to last year.
The theme of this year’s Ag Day was “Feed the World. Protect the Planet.” As part of that mission, the Ag Day planning committee arranged to have the Food Bank of Delaware truck on hand to collect donations from the community. At the end of the day, the Food Bank had received 395 pounds of donated items.Another participant that helped promote the cause of feeding the world and protecting the planet was Brae’s Brown Bags, a public charity created by Braeden Mannering when he was nine years old. Mannering, now 10, provides brown bags to those in need that include water, healthy snacks and a personal message that includes contact information to important resources in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. In addition to these two exhibits, those gathered at the 39th Ag Day were able to take in over 80 exhibits and witness a variety of demonstrations, including a beehive, free-flight bird show, tree climbing exhibition, live bands featuring UD faculty and professionals, and more at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) facilities. Always popular at Ag Day is the plant sale organized by the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens (UDBG) and ice cream from the UDairy Creamery. This year the creamery sold to around 3,900 patrons. Mark Rieger, CANR dean, welcomed the crowd to Ag Day saying, “One of the things that I’d like for you to think about as you go around is where your food comes from and how it’s grown. Bump into people like us, that’s what we do every single day in those buildings that are behind you. We look at research solutions and Extension solutions for growing food and protecting the planet. Ag and natural resources — we do both of those things here.” Provost Domenico Grasso and U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Delaware) also spoke at the event. Completely unexpected this year was the birth of a bull calf on the UD farm. Around 2 p.m., Laura Nemec, laboratory coordinator in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, and Ron Gouge, farm assistant, were notified by some Ag Day visitors that a cow was lying in the field and that she seemed to be giving birth. “Upon arrival in the field we saw that she was well along with the front feet and the nose of her calf out,” said Nemec. “With one last big push she brought her bull calf into the world around 2:45 p.m.” Nemec said that this was the cow’s first time giving birth and that the healthy baby bull was up on his feet within an hour. Nemec said that the cow “was not due for another couple of weeks but heifers are known to give birth early sometimes. Mom has happily entered the milking herd and her calf was transferred to a hutch later that evening. What a great surprise on Ag Day.” Article by Adam Thomas Photos by Danielle Quigley This article can also be viewed on UDaily.