Guest Speaker Dan Severson: Delawares Livestock Industry

“You are what you eat” (Dan Severson). Dan Severson, a New Castle County Agricultural Agent, discussed with the University of Delaware’s students about Delaware’s Livestock industry, the different types of livestock and the number and size of each type of livestock farm and their comparison to the size of farms across the United States. The livestock industry, unlike many industries, is an industry which includes the raising of animals such as cows, poultry, sheep, and goats for the processing of the animal products for consumers.

Within the state of Delaware, there are 2,500 farms, each contributing the U.S, economy which amounts to 8 million dollars from agricultural products, some of those products being from the livestock industries of beef and dairy cattle, poultry, sheep, and goats; with the poultry industry being the highest. In Delaware, there are 235 beef cattle farms and 14,000 beef cattle, 55 hog farms and 3,500 pigs, 89 farms with sheep and 1758 sheep, and 91 farms with goats and 1201 goats and an exceeding amount of poultry farms and chickens. Essentially, with these numbers in both in the number of farms and animal, Mr. Severson said that they will increase as they are calculated throughout the U.S. making this industry very large and very important in our economy locally and worldwide in the future and current day time. Additionally, from this presentation, many things about the livestock industry can be learned which can help myself and the other students develop a better understanding of the industry itself; and learn something that grabbed my interest which is that Delaware is larger in crop production then the production of livestock but continues to feed 1/3 of the U.S. population with crops and the main livestock producing industry which is poultry.

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