Delaware’s Livestock Industry Lecture

The guest lecture we had from Dan Severson about the Livestock right here in Delaware gave us a deeper look into this industry which may be happening right next door to us. About 40% if Delaware’s land area is in farms, with more than half the farms being under 50 acres. 96% of these farms are family owned, which surprised me a lot. It is special to think that the food produced in this state comes from a majority and family operation on their farms, and not picturing some big commercial farm.

One fact that surprised me was the ranking of average annual per capita consumption of meat, with the top three being beef, pork, then poultry because I would have thought poultry would have been higher up as I have heard that people are switching away from red meat to poultry.

Another thing that was mentioned in this lecture was the other livestock besides beef, pork, poultry, lamb, goat, and veal. This includes bees, bison, alpaca, rabbits, water buffalo, deer, elk, and others. Something that I have not given much thought about until recently, which has led me to do some more research on my own, is the honey bee industry. I have been learning that not only do bees play such a tremendous role in our eco-system with their pollination, but some bee-keepers will actually have bees in a northern part of the country for half the year, then when it gets cold they will transport them to a more southern area. Additionally, something that I found out that relates to my major/career path is that as of last January, anything that may be sprayed on the bees such as an antibiotic, it has to be prescribed by a veterinarian. This also raises a question for me about crickets and if this will soon be a law for them, as they are being used as a food supplement for protein!

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