Dan Severson talked to the class about Delaware’s specific livestock. In Delaware the number one livestock production is chicken. Out of beef, pork, lamb, goat, and veal, chicken is the only industry to see an increase in average consumption per capita since 1985. The need for lamb, goat, and veal has been decreasing due to less demand from the consumer. Within the state, there are 33 hundred hogs and 21 dairy farms with a total of 4500-5000 cows. Goats located in the state are mainly used for meat production. Other goat products are not a high market demand and there is no certified milking facility for goats or sheep in Delaware. When it comes to sheep production in Delaware, there are less than 25 sheep per farm. Meat production sheep are easier to raise compared to raising sheep for wool mainly due to sheering. Only a handful of people can properly sheer a sheep within the state making the wool industry hard to get into.
Dan was also very adamant about the consumers’ ability to control the livestock and overall food industry. In the United States, 97% of a household income is spent on food and businesses know this. Businesses in the food industry deploy marketing tactics and techniques to allure consumers to buy. Labels such as “organic”, “all-natural”, and “GMO-free” are used to persuade consumers into thinking what they are buying is the “best”. Dan challenged the class to look at food labels at our next grocery visit to see if there were any absurd labels on packaging. For example my trip to the store I found a “veggies on-the-go” squeeze pouch for babies advertising it was gluten-free, even though the only ingredients were zucchini, spinach, and banana.