Guest Lecture Dan Severson

Dan Severson tells it like it is and made his lecture on the livestock industry very interesting. He started off by defining a farm as someone who makes $1000 a year in agricultural product sales. There are 10,000 farms in DE contributing $8 billion to the industry. In DE there are 500,000 acres in farm land with 200 acres/farm. He repeated what we have learned that 98% of farms are family owned and he informed us that if farmers join corporate companies its because it is in there best interest; if the farm got into trouble, the government could only come after the farmers farm assets and not everything that the farmer owned. Beef, lamb, and veal have all gone down in terms of consumption, pork and goat have stayed the same, and poultry has increased which all mirrors what we are seeing in markets today. Mr. Severson then went on to talk about the different markets for beef, pork, sheep, goats, and dairy. All have uses for genetics and showing but others have specialties. For instance, cows can be directly sold to market for freezing, hogs can be grown in pasture, sheep are grown for their wool/hair, goat milk is used for lotions and soaps, and dairy is made into milk, ice cream, lotions, and soaps. In general, dairy farmers are decreasing while farm sizes are increasing. It was a very interesting lecture and I learned that I can make some big money by becoming an agronomist.

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