A new partnership between Delaware Valley University and Forrester Farm Equipment will provide new, more modern farm equipment for the university and expand hands-on learning opportunities for students. The partnership was designed by Will Paxton, class 2008, a DelVal agribusiness alumnus who is now the general manager of Forrester Farm Equipment Ltd.
The program includes exclusive discounts beyond the industry standards on purchases, rentals and parts through Forrester Farm Equipment. The partnership will benefit DelVal students and expose them to cutting-edge New Holland equipment.
"This partnership will give our current students access to cutting-edge technology and equipment," said Dr. Broc Sandelin, dean of the university's School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. "Our students can now learn on the same machinery that is being used in the industry, which will be an advantage as they start their careers."
The new machinery has added safety features, better operator comfort and more intuitive controls. Some of the rented tractors are equipped with GPS satellite mapping and tracking features that are now used widely in commercial agriculture.
A new baler will allow the university to use a wider variety of feed options. Rustler utility vehicles at the livestock and breeding centers have added flexibility and capacity to daily tasks such as hauling supplies, water and feed. Two new Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have increased mowing productivity and fuel efficiency.
"The idea is to provide up-to-date equipment to not simply get the work done at the university, but expose students to the trending practices happening in agriculture today," Paxton said.
Students from agribusiness, crop science, equine science, dairy science, animal science and horticulture will gain hands-on learning opportunities through the equipment partnership.
John Urbanchuk, chair of agribusiness, has introduced a new course, economics of technology in agriculture, that will utilize some of the new equipment for demonstrations.
Some of the other courses that will use the equipment include intro to ag machinery, field crops I and II, and commercial vegetable production.
The equipment will increase efficiency and productivity while providing valuable experience for students.
"As an industry employer, I look for individuals with real-world experience that can hit the ground running," Paxton said. "DelVal has a long history of providing that sort of education, and this partnership proves it."
"This partnership will give students the opportunity to use equipment they could be running after graduation," Sandelin said. "Experience with current equipment is a plus that they can talk about with future employers."