On September 16th, former Delaware Secretary of Ag, Ed Kee, came to our class to talk about the history and state of farming in Delaware. He stated that around the late 19th century and early 20th century, Delaware agriculture was made more important with the coming about of the railway system and the invention of canned goods. This is because with the railways, the produce can be shipped farther away, and with the canned goods, the produce would be kept fresh for longer.
On the subject of the state of agriculture in Delaware today, Kee stated that the farms in Delaware are eight or less hours away from one third of the United States population. For this reason, he made the statement that the Delmarva tri-state area is the food shed for most of the major cities of the east coast.
Something else Kee mentioned is the Young Farmer’s Program and the Agland Preservation Program here in Delaware. The former financially helps qualified young individuals in starting up their first agricultural pursuit, while the latter gives farmers compensation in exchange for selling the development rights to their property, thus ensuring that said property is preserved for agriculture.