It is no secret that the agriculture industry is widely diverse in enterprises. However, agriculturists have been united by a common motivating principal: the industry must innovate in order to feed the rapidly growing global population. This idea was echoed by Georgie Cartanza, the State Poultry Extension Agent for the state of Delaware. Throughout her guest lecture it became very clear that despite various misconceptions, agriculturists have been intently working to satisfy the needs of consumers, growers, and livestock in the most efficient way possible.
Delaware’s poultry industry has not always been what is today. Ushering in the growth of the industry has been the development of associated technologies. Chicken houses were once small, naturally ventilated, and requiring of hand feeding. The chicken houses of today are now much larger, tunnel ventilated, and largely automated. The environmental control exhibited by users of tunnel ventilation allow for growers to create a much cooler, cleaner, comfortable, and healthy growing environment for the birds. Advancements made in genetics and nutrition have also allowed for increased bird size. All these factors together, the poultry industry in Delmarva is reaching new levels of productivity, while conserving economic and natural resources.
Not all consumers, however, are fortunate enough to listen to an expert of the industry, such as Georgie Cartanza, give insights on the methods of production. Many consumers make judgments on what to buy based off media reports of “factory farms” and “hormone” filled chickens. As Georgie explained however, growers do not use hormones or steroids in production at all to begin with. Additionally, growers invest significantly to ensure that their birds are comfortable and healthy. Finally, growers are required to meet various sustainability standards of production. As advocates for agriculture, it is crucial to seek out experts like Georgie Cartanza so we can revitalize the image of agriculture in today’s media.