Delaware: A Food Shed by Ed Kee

Our class was very fortunate to have Delaware’s former secretary of AG, Ed Kee lecture not once but twice. I was impressed to learn Mr. Kee managed the farm at Nassau Orchards at such a young age. Mr. Kee’s first lecture described Delaware’s agriculture industry as a “Food Shed” for the eastern United States. One take home message that has been a recurring theme throughout the course is that one third of the U.S. population lies within eight hours driving distance of Delaware. This fact makes Delaware an important player in the fresh market produce industry along the east coast. I was also interested to learn that during the early 1900’s Delaware had a substantial number of canneries and processing companies, specifically tomato processing. Another important take home message was that 97.6% of U.S. farms are family owned, contrary to the belief of skeptics who believe factory farms are king. I was very pleased to get an opportunity to listen to someone with the knowledge and experience that Mr. Kee has in the field of agriculture.

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