Guest Lecture: Ed Kee

On September 13th, former Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee, came in and presented on how the state of Delaware is the US food shed. He also spoke on programs that benefited individuals in the agricultural community.  One of these  programs is the AgLand Preservation program, which has made it so that there is 110,000 acres permanently preserved for agriculture specifically. If that land becomes vacant, it has to stay agriculture based. This takes up 20% of Delaware’s farmland, meaning that a decent amount of Delaware farmland will always be protected by the state. Another program is the Young farmer’s program, which provides up to 500,000 to a young farmer for a year. Secretary Kee also gave a brief history of the canning industry from the Napoleonic era, all the way up to today. So far, the major tomato canning producers was in Virginia, at 369. In Delaware, the most that could be grown from the year 1866-1946 was only 14-29 bushels. The advancement of agriculture, especially in the produce and poultry industry, is due in part to modifications of genetics, precision agriculture, irrigation, minimum tillage, soil fertility, weed control, and pest management. His final statement was that there is a need for farmers, land Agriculture, and technology to advance the agriculture field.

Professional Leadership in Social Media with Michele Walfred

The agriculture class was given a presentation on the importance of social media by Michele Walfred. We learned how to create our own consistent brand of personal interests while also reflecting professionalism in posts to the general public. She showed us her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, which all had a theme, the photography of nature. She used a proper headshot rather than a selfie on her profile and had her full name written in the caption of each account. This is a theme we were advised to follow to adhere to future employers interests once we finish college with a degree. Michele taught us how to be a leader with social media by demonstrating maturity in our posts as well as advocating for only true information to earn the trust of viewers on the platform. It turns out, the agriculture industry is heavily invested in social media, and we were advised to advocate for agriculture with our own. There are many job opportunities in agriculture that involve social media communications, such as becoming a specialist or manager for a farming company. The class was warned about the dangers of fake news and how to spot ads that are just used for clickbait revenue, especially the ones that are geared towards politics in agriculture, like the use of growth hormones and the opinions of animal welfare organizations. Lastly, we reviewed platforms that are commonly used and some qualities of each and the resources to obtain valid information about agriculture. I now know how to create my own brand with social media posts and be an active member of the local community over the internet!

Georgie Cartanza’s Guest Lecture

On Monday, September 9th, the agriculture class was greeted by Georgie Cartanza, a Delaware organic poultry farmer and extension agent. She provided us with interesting information regarding the poultry industry in the first state, by giving the class a presentation with a brief history of how chicken farming became popular in Delaware, and the conventional methods that are no longer used in modern-day agriculture. She also showed us the economical impact it has on the U.S. For example, there are 14,500 people employed under poultry companies in Delaware that produce 3.2 billion dollars in birds each year. It turns out for every 1 job in the poultry industry, 7 jobs are created within the local community! She debunked the myths of fake news, like use growth hormones and antibiotics. In reality, there are no growth hormones. Technology has just improved to yield more bodyweight on the broilers faster than how it would have been in the 1950s. Under the organic poultry company she works for, Georgie must provide the chickens with access to the outdoors as well as enrichment in the chicken houses. This is based on consumer demand and the newly implemented technologies that are meant to improve bird welfare. Lastly, we were shown a slide on sustainability in agriculture and how to be mature and successful through mindfulness of the information that is shared with us. I definitely am more aware of the state I live in and the positive impact the poultry industry has on my community!

Georgie Cartanza’s Poultry Farm

On September 7th, our Agriculture class visited Georgie Cartanza’s organic poultry farm. She informed us about the Delmarva Broiler industry and how it has become far more environmentally friendly than it used to be in the early 20th century. Currently, this production accounts for 9.6% of all chicken production in the United States. That’s 605 million birds! Before we entered the chicken house, Georgie taught us how she practices proper biosecurity with accommodation of her chickens and the consumer. She showed us compost drums used when replacing litter and the organic methods she must practice under the Coleman company and debunked the myths that many of the general population believes through the media. It turns out, organically grown birds must have access to the outdoors and enrichment, and they can only be treated with naturally occurring supplements such as citric acid for their digestive health. Obviously, these birds were exceptionally taken care of from an animal welfare standpoint. Students had to put on protective gear and step in chlorine powder, not only for our safety but more so for the birds, as the potential risk of disease could be detrimental to the flock and Georgie’s profit. We were able to hold the two-day-old chicks while she covered the topic of how efficient each chicken house can be. In a push of a few buttons, she can provide the chicks with food, water, and proper ventilation to ensure they are comfortable in each house. I am very thankful to have had this experience because I didn’t know much about the broiler industry. I had many false assumptions about how the birds are treated and if the chicken I was eating was actually good for me. This trip, however, opened my eyes to the real world of organic farming, and how much care and precaution is taken when growing a live crop. Georgie set an especially good example for other farmers out there and established faith in me, that not all farming is unsustainable, and agriculture industries are consistently trying to find better ways to be more eco-friendly with their productions.

Ed Kee guest lecture

This past week former Delaware secretary of agriculture came and spoke to us about the state of Delaware and how it is one of the most popular states for agriculture. Though I was not able to make it due to an ankle injury, the power point that he presented was very engaging and informative. Delaware grew all different foods and shipped them off to other places. Delaware farmlands and acres have been decreasing ever since the 50’s. Though it isn’t too popular it is still a great field and it is needed for food. Billions of dollars are spent on agriculture and growing food to help us survive. Going into the agricultural firm isn’t all about farming. There are many other things involving advertising and building new pieces of technology to help farmers. Delaware has always been successful with agriculture and they are still going strong to this day.

Guest Lecture by Ed Kee

Recently the class had the former secretary of agriculture come and speak about the history of agriculture in the area but also touched on some state perspectives when it comes to national farming. Having that different perspective come and talk about some of the thoughts and ideas that go with agriculture on a nationwide level was another great subject to learn about. Delmarva being what he referred to as a foodshed really brought things into a different light and made me think about the importance of our small state’s contribution. He also provided more in-depth history about where agriculture has come from in our area and painted a picture of where it is going. One of the most interesting things he talked about in my opinion was the young farmers program where young qualified individuals can receive large amounts of support from the government to get new farms up and running. Insights like this can definitely help grow the industry and inspire the next generation of farmers.

Michele Walfred: Social media branding

Social media sites such as facebook, twitter, and Instagram have become an outlet for many millennials, this virtual world can often leave us forgetting about its true power. The internet has become a space to quickly share news, pictures, and opinions, however, it has also become an unfortunate space where if used negatively it could permanently rob you of your dreams. Sounds dooming right? Michele Walfred shared a few helpful tips to keep us mindful of what we share and don’t share on these sites.

As a young adult, I found myself falling into the trap of sharing less serious posts until I realized how many employers use social media as a way to “check up on their investments”.  Michele added that deleting your internet footprint is in fact not necessary rather tailoring how you promote yourself is key in establishing your value. LinkedIn is a great professional online resource to interact with business professionals and Michele urged everyone to join.

Sharing posts specific to your career interests and writing insight on what you are sharing shows that you care and are timely with news or important industry updates. Michele  noted LinkedIn as the best place to showcase this. She also suggested that maintaining a public Instagram account is essential and should share pictures of things that either relates to your career/interests or showcase who you are in a positive light. This advice was particularly interesting as I recently altered my feed to showcase wildlife, traveling, and pervious work experince as shown below:


                       So what should you do:

          1. Do not post offensive content such as politics
          2. Do have a social media footprint especially on LinkedIn
          3. Do have a public Instagram
          4. Do not post pictures of partying or doing illegal activities
          5. Get a professional headshot

Guest Lecture: Ed Kee

2019 September 13th, Mr. Ed Kee came to our ARGI 130 class to talking about the Delaware Agriculture as a Food Shed for eastern United States. There is 41% of DE land area in farms and 20% of it are permanently preserved because of the Agland Preservation Program. It means that those land can and only can be used as farm land. And not only protect these lands from being developed by other non-agriculture industry, but also protect the young farmers in the future. A program called Young Farmers Program, it offers a 30-year, no interest loan to help young farmers purchase farmland. Some farms in the permanently preservation program can be provided to the young farmers. 1842 year, the first canning factory was built for canning oysters in winter. And soon, this new and advanced technology can be used in canning fresh vegetables and fruits in any time. Even though the innovative technology boosts up the yield in agriculture and, reduce the amount of repeated work which improve the life of farmer, there are some challenges for today agriculture. Farmers still get low feedback from their work and the growing population on the Earth make the burden more heavily.

Guest Lecture 3

Ed Kee, the former Delaware Secretary of Ag, came to talk to our class on September 16th. He talked about agriculture and its history. As I am new to the agriculture industry I was surprised to hear that 30% of the farming land in Delaware is permanently protected, but the actual amount of farms we have has decreased. In 1950, we had 8,300 farms and in 2007, we had 3,546. A unique thing that the Delaware has is the Young Farmers Program. It gives money to young farmers so that they can start their own farm. It allows for more farmers to emerge so that the business isn’t dying. 

Ed talked about the history of agriculture. It started with hunters and gatherers and expanded. With new technologies like the railroad system and then the Dupont highway made for easier transport to largely populated areas in the east coast. Ed’s talk was very insightful and helped reinforce some topics that I knew a little bit about previously.

Guest Speaker Ed Kee: Food Shed

“The Delmarva is the main food provider for the eastern states” (Ed Kee). Mr. Ed Kee, former secretary of agriculture, educated students of the university of Delaware’s, understanding todays ag class, about the importance of agriculture in Delaware, the history, and the factor it plays in feeding the east coast and the surrounding population. Delaware’s agriculture, unlike many states, feeds 1/3 of the U.S. population due to its close proximity to the large cities on the east coast. Delaware has over 2,500 farms which makes up 40% of the land in the state and 30% of that land is permanently reserved so the industry stays within Delaware and further contributes to the U.S. population. With agricultures major production to nearby states, the agricultural industry is able to make 1.2 billion in ag sales and 7.9 million in production and agricultural sales in total which allows the economy for Delaware to further drive in success. However, this was only possible due to the improvements in technology and the family and individual run farms that have been added and continue to grow over many years.

During the past centuries, railroads developed and eventually water transportation and local highways opened up which allowed food to be easily transported throughout the neighboring states; eventually leading to the improvement in the technology of equipment and process in crop production to occur as well. Improvements in tractors, genetics of plants, water production (irrigation), soil fertility, pest management, weed control and other production processes has allowed farmers to produce more food more efficiently with fewer problems throughout the plants growth which has allowed for better production and better food to be grown overall. Although agriculture is a striving industry in the state of Delaware, many challenges are faced in order to keep agriculture striving in the state. Before the presentation came to a close, Mr. Kee informed the students that within the agricultural industry, farming and agriculture as a whole must remain profitable, maintain a consistent and fair regulatory environment that is also effective, promote the best technology practices that are most efficient in production for farmers and safe for the environment, connect farmers with market opportunity and have connections with state and federal organizations in order to keep the industry striving and profitable enough for the farmers and others working in the industry to keep their businesses and production running. From this presentation, many things about the agricultural industry in the past and current day time can be learned, which can help the students and myself to develop a better understanding of the industry, especially the agricultural industry in Delaware.

Throughout this lecture, Mr. Ed Kee stressed the importance of Delaware’s agricultural industry and the history that led the industry to success today which led myself and other students to develop a further understanding of agriculture within the state of Delaware and discover an interesting fact which was that Delaware, on its own, feeds one third of the U.S. population making the agricultural industry very important to sustain now and for the future day time.

Ed Kee Guest Speaker “Food Shed”

Mr. Kee’s presentation was very informal and taught me a lot of new things. While driving around Delaware I never really take into account truly how many farms there are. So, when Mr. Kee had in his presentation that 41% of Delaware is farmland I was little skeptical. But, now while I’m driving around I really notice just how many farms I pass between fields and poultry farms its kind of eye opening. I am very intrigued by Delaware’s Young Farmer Program it sounded like it could be very intersting and I would like to learn more about it. One thing that all of our guest speakers have hit on is just how much technology has changed the game for farmers. Like, Georgies chicken farm the houses temperature were kept in check by the system she installed. Ed Kee showed us some other examples like irrigation systems for fields and how farmers can control it all right there on their phones.  I can’t wait to learn more from Ed Kee in his next presentation.

Ed Kee Guest Lecture

Ed Kee, the former Secretary of Agriculture, came into our class and educated us on Delaware Agriculture. Ed taught us the 40% of Delaware’s land is farmland and around 30% of that land is permanently reserved by the Aglands Preservation Program. This program was established in 1991 and it helps preserve the farmland by making the land only be able to be sold for agriculture purposes. In Delaware alone, there are about 2,500 farmers and about 1/3 of those farmers till 2/3 of the land. Agriculture in Delaware creates 7-8 billion dollars in economic activity every year.  Along with these statistics, Ed also taught us how genetics and irrigations have been helping to improve the yields over the years. Genetics have also helped increase the average cow population. Lastly, I learned how technology is changing everyday and is helping farmers in many ways. One change in technology that really stuck out to me was how an app on a phone can control multiple irrigations at once. From the click of a button, the farmer can change how much water is being put out and how fast the irrigation is moving. This technology is incredible and will help farmers a lot when it comes to saving time and putting out the correct amount of water.

Michele Walfred: Branding Yourself and Advocating for Agriculture

In today’s society almost everyone has some type of social media. Whether it be Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or even Linkedin, most people seem to post their everyday life. Because of this, employers have found that by browsing through applicants social medias, they will be able to gain a relatively accurate understanding of what their potential employee is really like. Unfortunately, for a good amount of people, this is not always a good thing. Most people post on their social media whenever they are out partying or doing anything in their life that’s worth remembering. During these events, individuals tend to forget that what might be appropriate at the time, can end up leading to them being declined a job or even fired. See, the issue is that most people don’t know how to properly balance being professional and having fun on their free time. In the lecture from Michele Walfred on Sept 11th, 2019, we learned the importance of branding yourself in a professional way.  It is always important to brand yourself as a reliable and responsible individual. If you go to a party and happen to be doing things that are not necessarily important for a business setting, either refrain from posting it on your social media or post it on an account that your employer can’t find. Your main account should only display things that brand you as responsible or also reflect what you are like as a person. Remember, even if it seems like not a big deal to you, to your employer  it might make the hugest difference between you having a successful job or filing for unemployment.

As for using social media in the Agriculture field, Walfred explained how it is our generations duty to tell the true stories of Agriculture. It seems that in more recent years , the Agriculture field has been portrayed negatively on social media, and the ones who should be representing Agriculture have failed to do so. Some of farmers are old fashion and don’t care to use social media to share their stories and explain to the general public what real goes on in the Ag. communities.By joining career fields in Agriculture,  such as videography, Social Media coordinator, and Ag communications, this information can be shared more openly. It is our duty to find out the truth and hear both sides of the story. If someone posts negative things about Ag., it is important to ask them why they feel that way and try to share what we personally know. And it is the same case when dealing with professional Agriculture associates. It is important to stand up for what you believe in, but it is just as crucial to know both sides of the story. Maybe then, a complete understanding can be obtained by both parties.

Michele Walfred Social Media Lecture

Our class had the privilege of Michele Walfred being a guest lecture. Her lecture focused on social media use in many different aspects. These included how social media can be beneficial for getting a job while also hurt somebodies chances at getting a job. Creating a theme among all social media platforms with a public account that uses your real name is an amazing way for employers to see who they’re hiring and gives an applicant an advantage. Posting photos that could possibly negatively harm your perception isn’t a good idea such as underage drinking or excessive parting. Furthermore, the use of LinkIn was talked about as it is a great way for networking. Throughout her presentation we were also able to hear some life advice that could be used in various different ways

Mrs. Michele Walfred on Personal Branding and Social Media

Mrs. Walfred discussed Personal Branding, and the Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media. One thing that caught my eye about this presentation was when she asked “What’s your brand?” That question is very important, because it involves knowing who you are, and what you want to be known for. During her lecture, she gave really good life advice. She stated that it was a good idea to have two specific social media accounts. A personal one, and a professional one which focuses more on “your brand” or career. Mrs. Walfred made note of this particularly because of the way social media affects our lives. Having a more professional account will help brand yourself in a positive way, and it protects you from the consequences of what may be on your private social media account. It’s a great idea to start knowing what your brand is because it may help increase your chances of getting a job. The example Mrs.Walfred used was becoming a Veterinarian. If this is your particular career goal, then it’s best to start following former veterinarians, and vet schools, and to post pictures of you doing animal related activities (I.e volunteering at an animal shelter). I really learned a lot from this lecture, and took some things to heart because my image is important to me and I don’t want my actions on social media to affect my life forever.

A Class Journal for UDel CANR AGRI 130