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UDaily: Armstrong offers students hands-on learning opportunities at UD's Webb Farm

UDaily: Armstrong offers students hands-on learning opportunities at UD's Webb Farm

As he took night classes in ornamental horticulture at the University of Delaware, Larry Armstrong realized something about the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) of which he had been previously unaware -- the college had a livestock farm. Having grown up on a 400-acre farm with sheep, beef cattle and horses, Armstrong said to himself that if a job ever opened up on the farm, he would jump at the opportunity.

Sure enough, in 1997, not a year after he started taking classes, a farm assistant position became open and Armstrong applied and set himself off on an 18-year journey that sees him now serving as farm manager for UD’s Webb Farm. There, he oversees 20 beef cows, around 50 sheep and six horses. 

“It’s a great multi-species farm and I started doing a lot of research and learning about multi-species grazing and actually breaking up the parasite cycle. We’ll put cows out first and that will end the life cycle of a certain parasite that affects sheep, and then the horses can come through. They all graze a little bit differently. That’s been working really well and it’s beneficial for each species involved,” said Armstrong.

Animal health and natural resource management are two of the large priorities on the farm, but perhaps most important is the education component for UD undergraduate students. “That’s really why we’re here,” Armstrong said. “We want to show them how we’re doing the right things, the right way.”