Guest Speaker Georgie on Evolving of the Poultry Industry

On Monday September 9th, Organic Poultry farmer, Georgie Cartanza, gave a presentation  on the evolution of poultry farming in Delaware. Before she went into any specifics about poultry farming’s complex history, we were educated on the land grants and acts that were established in order to further the research that goes into the agriculture field. For example, land grant universities were established in 1862 under the Morell Act, which made educating  individuals going into the agriculture field more feaseable. Another Act she mention was the 1914 Smith-lever act, which  brought cooperative Extension into play. However, one of the main lessons taken away from the presentation is that the main purpose of agriculture is to transport the produce from one area to another in a certain amount of time and grow the most effective sources of livestock and produce.

As for the history of poultry in Delaware and along the east coast, it all started in 1923. In 1923 Steele Family market grew first young meat birds, which was a result of a shipment 500 chicks were mistakenly shipped to Cecilia Steele. From this she created the first functional poultry farm. Down the road, in 1948-49 there was a contest held to find the “Chicken of tomorrow”. This was held in order to find a chicken with DNA that would allow for producing the most meaty and most producible bird. In todays society Delmarva Poultry industry has 252 million birds produced in Delaware and more broilers per square mile than in other in the United states. For meat type chicken there are 40,000,000,000 worldwide and 9,000,000,000 United states.  However, the poultry industry has an economic impact on Delmarva. It produces jobs for 14500 Poultry Company employees and the value of birds are 3.2 billion dollars.

Social media is the biggest influenced on the question: Where is my food coming from? Even though the most common opinion of agriculture by those who are not in the agriculture field, is that traditional farmers are bad for the environment. However, its is important to understand both sides before making a final judgement. For some individuals that protest non-organic farmers do due to a food choice because they prefer how it taste and makes them feel. Other important factor is sustainability and Perception vs. Reality. These are important because it is important to keep the economy afloat while also providing food for the billion and billions of people living around the world. As for perception vs. reality, if individuals don’t know the truth then it will be hard for them to make non-bias decisions. Balance between consumer demands. Balance between environmental regulations. Balance for economic viability.




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