De Marke open day: A warm welcome

Enthusiasm somewhat dampened by Indian summer heat.
All together on the weighbridge. Photo Resource

‘The bunch of you weigh in at over 1070 kilogrammes, which is approximately as much as one adult and one yearling cow.’ De Marke opened its doors last Saturday for a knowledge festival, aka open day. The Indian summer heat affected the turnout, which was not huge, with some three hundred visitors.

The visitors, seated on hay bales, were informed about the latest insights in the four key domains of De Marke’s research: circular agriculture, nature-inclusive agriculture, climate-robust agriculture and precision agriculture. There was enough to see and do for the general public and youths. From a tour of the demonstration fields – ‘I never knew that sorghum could grow to such heights’- to having your picture taken next to an extraordinarily large Massey Ferguson, a tractor. On the innovation square, state-of-the-art agro-innovations were on display: a bovine toilet, a self-driving tractor and a sowing drone.

De Marke is a dairy testing farm, and thus, the doors of the barn were opened to the public. In between the calf pens and the milking robot, a moment to weigh the groups touring the barn, as shown above. ‘We weigh almost everything here: how much corn we harvest, how much grass we ensile, and, today, we weigh you’, Marke employee Tom te Veldhuis explained jokingly.

Dairy Campus will also open doors
Exactly one week after the knowledge festival at De Marke, the Daira Campus in Leeuwarden will open its doors to the public this Saturday in collaboration with the professional magazine Boerderij. The day centres on data (registration is free). Animal scientist Claudia Kamphuis who discussed her work on data, sensor technology and artificial intelligence to improve hoof health in cows in Resource, is one of the presenters.

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