Penn students have made a mark on the world’s first floating farm, now operating in the Netherlands.
Students visited Floating Farm, located in the port of Merwehaven in Rotterdam, as part of the 2019 Penn Summer Program in Berlin and Rotterdam, led by Simon Richter, Class of 1942 Endowed Term Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. He calls the farm, dedicated to animal welfare, sustainability, education, and innovation, “agricultural history in the making.”
Thirty-five cows live on the farm, where there are methods to reduce methane production and space for milk processing and yogurt production, all powered by solar panels. The cows eat food waste produced by local businesses, and the dairy produced on the farm is distributed in the city, cutting down on pollution caused by transportation.
Penn students donated a cow to Floating Farm and were given the opportunity to name her. “Sustainabetty” now enjoys the fresh river air alongside fellow cows Madame Curie, Hanneke, Elsje, and Fred, among other bovines.