Guest Lecture: Ed Kee

On September 13th, former Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee, came in and presented on how the state of Delaware is the US food shed. He also spoke on programs that benefited individuals in the agricultural community.  One of these  programs is the AgLand Preservation program, which has made it so that there is 110,000 acres permanently preserved for agriculture specifically. If that land becomes vacant, it has to stay agriculture based. This takes up 20% of Delaware’s farmland, meaning that a decent amount of Delaware farmland will always be protected by the state. Another program is the Young farmer’s program, which provides up to 500,000 to a young farmer for a year. Secretary Kee also gave a brief history of the canning industry from the Napoleonic era, all the way up to today. So far, the major tomato canning producers was in Virginia, at 369. In Delaware, the most that could be grown from the year 1866-1946 was only 14-29 bushels. The advancement of agriculture, especially in the produce and poultry industry, is due in part to modifications of genetics, precision agriculture, irrigation, minimum tillage, soil fertility, weed control, and pest management. His final statement was that there is a need for farmers, land Agriculture, and technology to advance the agriculture field.

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