GUEST LECTURE BY ED KEE: DELAWARE AS A FOOD SHED

On Monday September 17th, 2018 we had guest speaker in AGRI 130 who talked about Delaware as a “FoodShed”. One of the major driving forces for Delaware’s agriculture industry is how close it is to people. Delaware is within 1/3 of the US population within an eight hour drive. This was something that Ed Kee kept mentioning during his speech as he went over the history of Delaware’s agriculture industry. Some of the things that helped the ag industry grow during the 1800’s was the railroad system which stimulated an agricultural economy, the canning industry in which the first one was in Dover, DE which allowed for an increase in the distance that products could go creating new markets and boats which further increased transportation. Ed Kee also mentioned advances in science since 1945. Some of these advances are genetics, irrigation, soil fertility, pest management (insects and diseases) and precision Agriculture. Each of these things have allowed for farmers to produce more and to feed more people. Something I found interesting is that the Mitchell Family who owns Woodside Dairy in Delaware is going to have a robotic milking machine. The machine will milk cows when they come to it to get milked and will tell the farmer how much milk the cow is producing. Another thing I found interesting is that by 2050 there is expected to be 9.3 billion people which means that global agriculture will need to increase production up to 70% of what it is now.

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