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UMES Farm Demonstrations

  • UMES Research and Education Farm:


    Located just off Stewart Neck Road in Princess Anne, our 365-acre Research and Education Farm is reserved for training and field research in food, agriculture, and related areas as well as field demonstrations involving farm and ecosystem level processes. Research initiatives that include graduate and undergraduate students address environmental quality and sustainability, sustainable food production and security, human health and safety, conservation and use of coastal and marine resources, and bioenergy.

    Coupled with the teaching and research initiatives is the Extension and outreach program.  UMES Extension educators employ an enhanced method of delivering research-based information to the community and to industry through the development of model demonstrations for both crops and livestock.  The demonstrations include, but are not limited to, small commercial production systems, community gardens, and organic production systems.


    Specialty Ethnic Crop Production:

    Dedicated to showcasing alternative crop production and sustainable farming practices, the 365-acre UMES Research and Education Farm showcases projects based on the needs of farmers and landowners in surrounding communities.  For example, featured crops include but are not limited to amaranth, hops, and aronia.  

    Several high tunnels have been erected on the farm to house alternative crops that have good market potential and that grow well in the area.


    Culinary and Medicinal Herbs:

    The rising demand for medicinal herbs may foster a potentially lucrative niche market for small farmers in the area. As a result, culinary and medicinal herbs are grown on the Research and Education Farm as well. Featured herbs include ginger, peppermint, lavender, spearmint, and lemongrass.

    Visitors to the farm can learn about popular medicinal herbs and explore growing the herbs as a small farm business endeavor.


    UMES Campus Farm:

    UMES Orchard:

    In 2017, a multi-variety apple orchard was established UMES for hands-on training involving growers, beginning farmers, farm managers, stakeholders, state sustainable agriculture research and education coordinators, small farm program coordinators, nutrient management coordinators and Extension associates. Today, the 4.5-acre plot serves as the most diverse orchard on the Eastern Shore, with 40 varieties of apples, 16 varieties of pears, 15 varieties of peaches, 10 varieties of plums, 10 varieties of nectarines and 10 varieties of grapes.


    Sheep and Goat Management & Animal Care:

    The UMES Small Ruminant Research and Extension Program is focused on the research and adoption of practices and technology that enhance the management of small ruminant farms on Delmarva. It also involves the development of educational programs about small ruminant husbandry for sheep and goat producers as well as youth and professional agriculturists (land-grant extension educators, subject matter experts at governmental agencies, and non-profit technical advisors). In addition, the extension program aims at establishing links between local production, marketing, and the utilization of meat and meat products from small ruminant species, recognizing that the demand for and utilization of lamb and chevon will promote the survival of the family farm and enhance food security in the region. Events that are conducive to the program goals include: planned conferences, workshops, and seminars focusing on the adoption of efficient forage utilization, preventive animal health, marketing, and strategies for the survival of small farmers/ranchers.
     
    There are two species of small ruminants at the UMES Farm: sheep and goats.  The sheep flock is made up of mostly Katahdin-crossed ewes. There is a Dorper ram and several Katahdin-crossed rams. In the picture, the Dorper ram is shown with his “working attire.”  Mr. Dorper has been equipped with a marking harness to aid in identifying the ewes that he breeds. During the last breeding season, ewes were implanted with Eazi-Breed-CIDRs to synchronize breeding and subsequently narrow the lambing season.  The goat herd is mostly made up of Kiko and Boer-crossed does, a few Spanish does, and dairy-crossed does.  Presently, there are Kiko bucks and Boer-crossed bucks on the farm.