November 2012 archive

2013 Delaware Ag Week information

The 2013 Delaware Agriculture Week Planning Committee is pleased to announce the release of updated information concerning the annual week long focus on Delaware agriculture held in January at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington Delaware Ag Week begins Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 18, 2013. The website includes a detailed daily schedule of the entire week, as well as a pdf of the program booklet.  Click on the image below or visit Delaware Ag Week website at

All of the sessions offered during the week enable attendees to earn continuing credit. Credits appear at the bottom of each session page and may also be indexed by selecting the specific credit category on the right sidebar. The website also features related agriculture events that may be of interest to stakeholders in Delaware agriculture.

Delaware Agriculture week is organized and presented by The University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University and Delaware Department of Agriculture.


UD Blue Hens Can – southern Delaware drop off locations

The UD Freshmen Class here in Georgetown and Sussex County Master Gardeners are working together to promote the Blue Hen’s CAN campus-wide food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.   I am inviting staff to participate.   If you participate in the food drive, drop off your items with Tammy and register for the three prizes that will be given away as part of the event.   We will need items by 12 noon on Friday, Nov. 16 to get your names up to Newark and entered in the drawing.  The students have decided to collect food items until Tuesday, Nov. 20., if you do not make the Nov. 16 deadline. (collection bin located in the master gardener office).
Individuals who donate will be entered to win:
UDairy Creamery ice cream gift basket;
Authorized Campus St
$100 iTunes gift card from UD’s Apple store; or
Wool blanket, made from wool of UD sheep, a $100 value
This link below will take you to the UDaily article about the Blue Hens CAN food Drive in Newark.  Suggestions for items needed:
•           Canned sweet potato or yams
•           Canned corn, green beans, peas or mixed veggies
•           Cranberry sauce
•           32oz shelf stable milk or instant milk
•           Boxes pudding
•           Canned pumpkin
•           Turkey roasting pans
•           Pie crust mix or gram cracker crust
•           Canned or jarred fruit, including applesauce
•           Family sized juice can/bottle or mix
•           Coffee, tea or coco mix
•           Family sized breakfast cereal or oatmeal
•           Pancake mix with syrup
•           Canned meat or family sized canned ham
•           Cornbread mix or other bread/muffin mixes
•           Canned or packets of gravy
•           Stuffing
•           Instant mashed potatoes
•           Macaroni & cheese
Please feel free to invite others you interact with to participate.  There is information on a yellow sandwich board in the lobby and flyers by the mailboxes. 
Thank you for your consideration.  I appreciate your support of the Food Bank of Delaware, Sussex Master Gardeners, UD freshmen students here in Georgetown and those who are hungry here in Sussex County.

AgrAbility focuses on respiratory health on farms

The respiratory health of farmers has been identified as one of the major health concerns facing the farming population.  Recent agrability surveys conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Agrability Project in New Jersey showed respiratory illnesses to be the 6th leading cause of disability and accounted for 5.2% of the total disabilities.  This compares to a survey on the Delmarva Peninsula in 2000 where respiratory illnesses accounted for 8% of all disabilities.  A study in Iowa showed the overall rate of respiratory illness among farmers to be 17% per year.  Chronic bronchitis and organic toxic dust syndrome (OTDS) were the most commonly reported conditions.

November is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Awareness Month and a great time to emphasize respiratory health on farms.  According to the American Lung Association (ALA) 24 million Americans have impaired lung function, which is commonly known as COPD which is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

COPD, also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis is a lung disease characterized by an obstruction to airflow that interferes with normal breathing and over time makes it difficult to breath.  Although COPD is not curable, it is preventable and can be treated and managed effectively.  ALA encourages people at risk to consult a physician about a spirometry test in order to diagnose the disease and begin treatment.

Despite smoking less, farmers have increased rates of chronic bronchitis.  Components of agricultural dusts are sufficiently irritating to the airways of the lung to cause mucus overproduction leading to repeated coughs with phlegm.  The dust is also a factor in asthma and allergic problems (runny nose, irritated eyes) which may occur with entry to poultry and other confinement housing.  Toxic fumes can also be encountered by people working in manure storage areas associated with animal confinement facilities.  A wide range of morbidity and mortality findings suggests that respiratory hazards may represent the greatest health hazard to famers.

The following strategies are important in addressing COPD and other respiratory diseases:

  • Know the respiratory hazards on your farm

Common respiratory hazards on farms include but are not limited to dusts, mold spores, gases such as ammonia in poultry operations, silo and manure gases; pesticides and fumes from welding and hot work

  • Know the signs and symptoms of COPD

Symptoms include constant coughing, shortness of breath when doing everyday activities, producing a lot of sputum, wheezing and feeling like you can’t breathe or take a deep breath

  • Get help

Consult a physician about a spirometry test in order to diagnose the disease as early as possible and begin treatment

  • Practice prevention

Use ventilation and PPE to protect yourself from the identified respiratory hazards.  In general respirators should have two straps, fit the face tightly, be appropriate for the respiratory hazard and approved by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).  For the proper respirator contact a local safety equipment supplier.

Replace the respirator if it becomes difficult to breathe through, dirty or loses it shape.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction relative to replacement, maintenance and storage.

How important is your health?  If you want to continue to breathe freely and promote respiratory health, protect yourself from respiratory hazards.  Remember that farm safety adds value to your business and you are the primary benefactor!