Mark Davis came into class to talk to us about the horse racing industry in Delaware. I found this lecture to be very interesting and I learned a lot of new things that I had previously not known about horse racing. I had never realized that horse racing has been around for so many years and that I was one of the first sports ever. I also found it interesting that this industry has a $102 billion impact on the US economy. Mark explained that there are over 775 thoroughbred house in Delaware, which I found interesting. He also explained all of the different regulations that go with each type of horse racing because each type of racing has slightly different set of rules and regulations. I never knew how many regulations actually went into horse racing though. There are surprisingly a lot of rules put into place for horse racing to make sure no-one is cheating as well as to make the wellbeing of the horse is always taken into consideration. Mark Davis also talked about how big of an industry horse racing is for Delaware and how that there is almost $182 million contributed to the Delaware economy annually.
I thought this was a very interesting lecture, and I really enjoyed how David presented the topic. He was very passionate about the topic so that made it very easy to listen to him. I thought it was cool to be able to see how agriculture has developed over the years. As well as how new technologies have changed the way that agriculture functions as a whole. Because of these advances in agriculture there are things that can be done now that could have never been accomplished in the past. For example, we are able to go into a crops genetics and modify the overall genetics of the plant to get the desired trait. Another important advance is the pesticides that are used. These pesticides are so advanced that you can spray it on a crop and it will not affect the crop but once a certain insect ingests it then it will kill them.
I really enjoyed Dan Severson’s lecture. He made the lecture intriguing by getting the class involved, as well as he presented a lot of different information that I had not previously known or thought about. It was interesting to be able to talk about all the different aspects of raising certain animals and why some people might prefer to raise one animals vs another. The fact that 98% of Delaware farms are family run really surprised me because this shows that these farms aren’t big corporations and they actually care about the consumer and what they think. One more interesting fact that I learned was the versatility of goats and what can be produced from them. Overall this lecture was very informative and it opened my eyes up to many different trends in the livestock industry that I had not previously considered. Also it was nice to be able to have someone talk about this topic who does not only do this for a living but actually has a few of his own animals that he raises because he was able to throw in person experiences throughout.
I really, really enjoyed the field that we took to Hoober Equipment. It was nice to be able to get a first hand look at a company like that and as large as that works. It was probably one of my favorite field trips I have ever been on. It was really interesting to be able to see how a company like that runs and operates. I thought it was cool being able to drive the tractors and first hand be able to see how precession agriculture is used and works. Especially with auto steer and and how the GPS coordinates can keep a tractor on track all the way through a field just by picking two points on the map. It was really interesting to be able to walk through there shop and be able to see tractors that were taken apart, and I was able to actually see things on a tractor that I had not previously seen. Hoobers has a lot of job opportunities as well that I had never really thought about but am extremely interested in pursuing because I would love to work at a place like that.
Prior to this guest lecture I had never realized that Delaware had a pretty large sized horticulture industry. The fact that there is almost twenty-two million dollars worth of product sales, really surprised me. I had not thought about how much really goes into the green industry and the different techniques that are used to grow these plants as well as possible and make it as profitable as possible. I also did not realize how much hard work actually goes into the production of these plants. It was also cool to be able to talk about different aspects of the green industry that aren’t just about growing flowers and plants to be sold. Land maintenance and beautification are also a huge part of the green industry. Overall I really enjoyed this lecture and Mrs. Wootten and Mrs. Budischak were extremely easy to listen to and kept the lecture interesting and intriguing.
Mark Lynas is a very intelligent man and he is self taught when it comes to GMOs and many other aspects. Just like many other people he believed that GM was horrible and it was all run by corporate corporations trying to get over on people and make more money for themselves. He thought that science was to be involved with the growing of crops. As well as he thought that GMOs had no purpose and would do no actually good for people. As Mark started to research more and find more things out about GM, he began to realize that maybe it is not such a bad idea. Now Mark doesn’t necessarily think that GMOs are needed for everything but he does believe that they have a place and can be very useful in some situations. With this realization Mark began to think how they can actually help people, such as if a farmer does not have the resources to keep down pest the GMO can fight of diseases and pests by itself without the help of the farmer. He also realized that more yield is possible in countries and areas that need the crop to be as productive as possible because they can’t afford to lose crops. Overall Mark started out by having a very similar opinion to most people when it comes to GM but with a lot of research and talking to people who knew a lot about the topic, he began realizing that they aren’t so bad and his perspective of GM had been off.
James Adkins speech on irrigation was very informative and I had not previously known or thought about the importance of irrigation and how precise it is. The irrigation system itself has changed tremendously over time just like many other technologies. The irrigation systems thousands of years ago was mostly ran off of gravity but today we are able to control and monitor irritation from gps and from the farmers phone. I also found it surprising the amount of water that certain countries dedicate strictly to irrigate their crops. One statistic that stood out to me more than many others was the fact that the United States has 60 million acres of irrigated land. This fact really shocked me because that is such a large amount of land and prior to this I had never thought about where all this water is coming from and how it can affect certain industries and people. With the advances in technology, the amount of water can be extremely controlled and monitored so only the exact amount of water that is needed is sprayed and it also makes sure the spray is even across the crops.
I really enjoyed Ed Kees lecture on Iowa and California. Prior to this lecture I really had not known how important these two states are when it comes to agriculture for the United States and even the world. These two states are able to produce a lot of different products because of their good landscape. In comparison to Delaware agriculture these two states have a much much bigger agriculture industry, Iowa in particular. Iowa’s agriculture industry is so large that they are able to till 30.5 million acres where Delaware only tills 490,000 acres. Before this lecture I also had not known that Iowa is the leading producer of corn and soybeans, which I found very interesting. Iowa also uses 40% of the corn produced is used in making ethanol, which I would have never thought because prior to this lecture I would have assumed it would have all just gone to feed. Overall I found this speech to be very informative and I think I was able to take some very valuable information from.
I really enjoyed Ed Kee’s lecture on the Food Shed. He was extremely informative and presented the information he had for our class really well. It was nice to be able to have someone who has been in the industry and knows a lot about how the food shed really works. Since Ed Kee was the former Secretary of Agriculture he got a first hand look into how many different aspects of farming have changed and developed over the years, so he was able to tell us a lot of things that he had experienced first hand. One of the things in his lecture that really surprised me the most was how much agriculture has actually changed over the years. It was shocking to see how drastically the production numbers have changed over the years. As well as how many techniques have changed dramatically as well. He had presented some ideas about things that people do/have done in the agriculture industry that I had never really thought about or considered before.
I really enjoyed Ms. Michele’s lecture on social media and how it can affect your future. She explained a lot of different aspects of social media and how you want to use it wisely so you do not screw up your future. Prior to this lecture I had never thought that just a couple posts can screw up a possible career path for you. She explained how when you apply for a job the person interviewing you will more than likely look you up on the internet just to see if anything pops up, and if something does pop up that they don’t like it can sway them from hiring you and make them want to hire the other person. Even if something you had posted about or did in college, it can still affect you in the future because whatever you put on the internet never actually goes away. Ms. Michele also explained some things you can do to your social media pages to make them look more professional and make you more marketable.
Ms. Georgie Cartanza who is an organic chicken farmer came and shed some light on many different aspects of chicken farming. During this lecture I learned a lot of things that I had not previously known before, for example that Delmarva produces 9.6% of the nations poultry production and grows 605 million birds a year. Now this really surprised me because in comparison to the whole country the Delmarva area is not very big but still has a huge impact on the nations poultry industry. Another fact that I found interesting was that for every 1 job in the poultry industry it creates 7 jobs in the community. During this lecture Ms. Georgie talked a lot about technology and how that has become such a crucial aspect of chicken farming today. She explained how she can control the entire chicken coop that she has on her farm just from one electrical box and she is able to control all the heat, cooling and ventilation as well as many other things all from one this one box. Ms. Georgie also explained how chickens themselves have changed over the years due to the breeding of the birds, in 1957 it would take 56 days to grow an almost two pound bird but today a nine pound bird is able to be grown in 56 days. Overall I really enjoyed this lecture and I learned a lot of things I had not previously known about the poultry industry in Delmarva.
For our first field trip, our class went to an organic poultry farm. It was very interesting and exciting to be able to go around this farm and have a hands on tour with the lady who runs it, Ms. Georgie. She showed us a lot of different things that made her poultry farm different and unique to many others. One of her biggest things technology why’s that helps her run her farm are the big computer operated boxes that are located just inside the chicken house, and these boxes all Ms. Georgie to control every single aspect in the house from how hot or cold it is, to how much food and water the chickens drink, to even vents and windows. With this technology this allows her to run a massive chicken farm with only one person because she is able to do everything electronically and does not have to do it by hand. Before coming on this field trip I never knew how many chickens were actually kept inside one house and I was amazed to see how many there actually were once we walked inside the house. Ms.Georgie treated her animals very well and made sure they are always as happy as possible and gave them everything they need, even access to the outside even though many birds don’t go outside anyway, as well as enrichment toys which I thought was pretty cool.