Monday, September 17th Ed Kee joined the AGRI130 class to discuss the various aspects that make up Delaware agriculture. One thing important to note is that Delaware, and the rest of Delmarva, is able to transport any goods/products to one third of the US population in eight hours or less.
In the 1950s the number of farms and acres of farmland in Delaware came to about 70-80%. Unfortunately with the constant development of land and influx of people living the cities, the number of farms and farmland has decreased. Something done to combat this declining rate of farmland is that a farmer can sell their developmental rights to the state therefore insuring that the land can never be developed and can only be used for farming purposes.
Ed Kee helped to put forth and start a program that allows individuals interested in beginning to farm an opportunity to do so. This program is called the Young Farmers Program and it is strictly for use in Delaware only (other states may have their own programs). The way this program works is that once an individual finds a farm they would like to purchase, the program will lend out $500,000.00 to be paid back in thirty years with zero interest! Furthermore, since the costs to purchase a farm are more than that, any loans taken from a bank will become primary and the loan from the program can be paid back after the bank loans. This is such an amazing program that I never knew existed. It is definitely something to look into if you are interested in starting your very own farm.