All posts by mekholm

Guest Speaker Mark Davis: Horse Industry In Delaware

“ Horse racing is one of the oldest sports, it’s been around for many years” (Mark Davis) Mark Davis, a manager of a horse farm within the harness racing industry, discussed with the University of Delaware’s understanding todays agriculture class about the harness racing industry in Delaware and the history that lies within it. Delaware’s harness racing industry, one of the oldest sports in the world, has undergone very little change in the past centuries in the races. However, in 1750, the jockey club was developed which created the many regulations on the horses and jockeys that enforces the jockey and horses to be continuously drug tested to prevent unfairness with the use of substances in the race as well as reduce the health issues that can arise with the use of drugs for both the horses and their riders. However, regardless of the drug testing, thorough bred horses experience more health problems then that of harness racing horses due to the amount of physical stress thoroughbreds experience with carrying a jockey and running at high speeds. While, in harness racing industry the horses stay at a trotting pace with only a carriage on the back of them to pull the rider. Although each part of the industry has their own unique characteristics associated with them, the industry has declined since its peak in 1989, due to the lack of interest in these generations individuals in this particular industry.

Guest Speaker Dave Mayonado: Industry and Academia in Agriculture

Dave Mayonado, a representative of the Bayer company and their products and use, discussed with the University of Delaware’s students about the agricultural industry and how it has evolved over time in both efficiency with the advancing use of technology and as an industry as a whole. During the earlier centuries, Dr. Mayonado explained that the agricultural industry was very labor intensive and hands on. However, as the time moved forward, the advancement of technology grew which has allowed agricultural to become less labor intensive and farmers to produce steadily larger crops while at the same time improving soil quality and fostering an environment that supports a thriving wildlife population.

With the growth of technology, agricultural companies, like Bayer, who bought out Monsanto, were able to develop chemicals like glyphosate or round up that kill weeds and insects without killing the crop essentially allowing farmers to protect their crops from encroaching weeds and insects that effect the crops growth and development and produce a greater yield at harvest; as well as reduce the need of tillage and improve the soil quality of the field. With the development of chemicals, Bayer did further research in crop efficiency and increasing yield and found that modifying certain genes and adding beneficial genes to a plant (GMO and CRISPR), all regulated under the EPA, USDA, and FDA, allows for the plant to protect itself against specific pests which allows for the use of less chemicals as well as, the modification allows for the plant to produce a sufficiently greater yield at harvest which allows for the world to produce more food and reduce hunger across various states. As the presentation came to a close, Dr. Mayonado informed and cleared up the litigations about the product, round up, that was created by the former company, Monsanto, they bought out, which allows the students and myself to know the truth about the product and the litigations behind it. Ultimately, from this presentation, many things about the agricultural industry and the company Bayer can be learned, which can help the students and myself to develop a better understanding of the industry as well as develop a broader perspective of the company Bayer and the industry as a whole.

Universitys of Delawares Farm Field Trip

“It all is kind of interesting, we have a lot of interesting projects not just one” (Scott Hopkins). Scott Hopkins, farm superintendent of the University of Delaware’s farm, informed the University of Delaware’s students about the farm through giving the students of the understanding todays ag class a tour of each livestock as well as the organic farm and wetlands the university offers. UD’s farm is composed of 350 acres in which stretches part of the south campus, starting from the side of Townsend, with the organic farm, which is composed of 2 acres and grows the produce of kale, cabbage, and other vegetables that is grown and later sold to the star lab across the street, to the university’s livestock farm. With the university’s organic farm producing vegetables for food for the star lab, the university also has few acres of field corn and other crops such as rice for research and to feed the livestock it has which allows the university to feed and supply the livestock grown on the farm that consists of sheep, equine, dairy and beef cattle and poultry.

On the livestock farm, Mr. Hopkins explained that each of the livestock has different feeding and housing requirements and overall health requirements which makes it very crucial to understand each for efficient production of that specific species. Essentially, with these operations on the farm on campus, the need of students and faculty in certain areas has arisen which Mr. Hopkins explains leads to many opportunities for the University of Delaware’s student to gain experience in different fields. Additionally, the University of Delaware’s farm is a large operation that needs many people to make this operation successful as the years continue forward and with this trip, it provides an insight for the students about the plant and livestock industry which can help us further understand those two industries as a whole; as well as gain an interest which is that the organic farms produce is supplied to the star campus and local farmers markets.

Non-GMO Labeling Extra Credit

Within the united states, GMOs, a genetically modified organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques for the benefit of the crops growth and the people, has become a controversial debate in the aspect of if a food should contain the GMO label which is beginning to effect the way food is being produced and purchased across the United States and the world. With the topic of GMOs, many consumers have developed little knowledge about the process in growing them and what they contain which has caused many to publish false information and consumers to become to believe that GMOs are bad. Essentially, with this developed belief, food companies have begun to take this as an advertising advantage and strategy to get consumers to purchase their product even though the product may not even contain genetics such as the product of Pink Himalayan Salt.

Pink Himalayan Salt, a product made of 98% of sodium chloride and contains other minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium that is mined from the rocks of the Punjab region of modern Pakistan, has no genes. However, because much of the public lacks education and knowledge of GMOs and the health of it, the public has come to believe that GMO free products are healthier, thus, causing many food companies to use this as an advantage to label products as GMO free so that the consumer will be more likely to purchase the product even though the salt contains no genes to be altered. Essentially, with labeling, a relationship of trust has been created between the producer and consumer because food labeling allows the consumer to know what’s in the product and purchase it based off of beliefs and individual desires which allows the consumer to know that the company is producing safe products based off of their beliefs; which can be an advantage to the food industry but it can also lead to focused markets and affect the products that are being labeled as GMO.

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.

Guest Speakers Tracy Wootten & Valaan Budishack: “Delawares Green Industry”

“Delaware’s Green industry is a big industry, but it’s not just plants” (Valaan Budishack). Tracy Wooten a horticulture specialist at the Delaware Technical Community College and Valaan Budishack, acting director of the botanical gardens of the University of Delaware, discussed with the University of Delaware’s students about the horticulture industry, how the plants are grown, careers within it, and what each of those careers entail. The horticulture industry, unlike many major plant production industries, is the cultivation, processing, and sale of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamental plants as well as many additional services where plants are grown in nurseries and later sold to the customer or retail businesses for public purchase. Retail businesses, like many other consumer goods businesses, provide small quantities of plants or other goods in the desire of the customer through their development of advertising techniques, specialty plant lines, and other methods. Additionally, with the aspect of sales of plants, the creation of many other careers is associated with it.

Within this industry, there are producers which are the growers of the plants, landscapers, one that designs and cultivates properties for those who want to improve the look of their property or need help in sustaining and maintaining it, land managers, which “prevent environmental damage and harm to wildlife through careful management of the development and use of a region’s land resources” (Wikipedia), golf courses, and lastly suppliers, who provide the essential equipment such as fertilizer and other resources to help contribute to the success of the industry as well as those growing plants on their own. Essentially, with the many careers and growth of plants, the horticulture industry is able to continue to grow and sell plants as well as keep jobs within it which allows the industry to further continue to contribute to the sustainability of the economy and agricultural industry and in the sustainment of the beauty of the environment locally and worldwide.

Additionally, from this presentation, many things about the horticulture 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 there is a lot of technical thinking and processes to grow plants, get them to the market, and sell the plants in a way that will attract the consumer to buy so the industry can continue to grow, market, and sell plants today and within future time.


Genetic Editing Communication Extra Credit

Gene Editing, a unique technology that allows scientist to alter the genes of a given plant, has helped the food production industry by creating better and more efficient crops that allows farmers to produce higher yields with less of a use of land, water, pesticides, and other resources which ultimately helps the world in sustaining an adequate food supply of the growing population. However, with this new technology, many have begun to publish false information about the technology due to the lack of knowledge about the topic in which has resulted into the concerns of the public to arise making the need of communicating the truth of this product very important to understand today and in the future day time.

When communicating this topic, one should engage in conversation about genetic editing in food and agriculture and consider the consumers perceptions of gene editing, the power of shared values, know the genetic terms and definitions in genetic editing, and the coalition for responsible gene editing to effectively teach the public the essence of genetic editing. While engaging in a conversation about this particular topic, one should also embrace the skepticism of the person they are speaking to and inform them about the topic of genetic editing using scientific information going from the history to the benefits of genetic editing to people and the environment; such as gene editing allows plants to become more resistant to certain insects which allows for less use of pesticides, and overall listen to the other person and communicate the right information. Essentially, with communicating and using effective communication skills, one is able to help the agriculture industry by advocating genetic editing to the people which essentially allows the public to become more knowledgeable about this topic and become more comfortable in having genetic edited products.

Throughout this article, the topic of genetic editing was discussed which allowed me to develop a further understanding of the topic as well as learn the effective ways to communicate this topic to the people to get the truth out to the public. Essentially allowing many to become more knowledgeable and less fearful of this practice, which can help the agriculture industry in maintaining the practice to help the world in sustaining an adequate food supply today and in the future.


Hoobers Inc. Field Trip

“You have to know what it does, to fix it and make it go” (Dave Wary). Dave Wary, service technician and sales representative of Hoobers Inc., informed the University of Delaware students about Hoobers Inc. through giving a small lecture about the operation as well as giving a tour of Hoobers Inc. and the different equipment they sell and are currently fixing. Hoobers Inc, unlike many equipment companies, began in the mid-19th century when the 1st generation, Charles Hoober, signed an agreement to sell International Harvester farm equipment in Intercourse, Pennsylvania and started a business in that same year; which later caused him to open the Hoobers & Son Farm Equipment in 1956. With the start of the operation from the first generation, over time the family has continued to grow and expand the business and operate in various locations such as, Middletown, Maryland and Seaford, Delaware and sell and fix equipment such as, lawn mowers, sprayers, combines, and other tractors, and consult farmers, on equipment that the students were able to see today. Essentially, with the Hoobers operation, selling, consulting farmers and servicing equipment, farmers and producers are able to contact the operation on a piece of equipment when it breaks down or has issues before or during planting season, and is able to speak to a specialist who will guide them on how to operate the equipment or will go out to the field to fix the equipment the producer is having issues with. Essentially allowing farmers to get the service they need to operate and continue there work again.

With seeing and learning about the equipment and different services Hoobers Inc provides, Dave Wary allowed the students operate the sprayer, planter, and spiker which allowed the students and myself to experience the equipment farmers use and Hoober consults and fixes which essentially allowed myself and the other students to learn part of a new skill set, broaden our understanding of the agriculture industry in terms of precision ag and the equipment that is used within it; and learn a something that grabbed my interest which is that there is a lot of specifics in building a piece of an equipment, thus to build it, takes a lot of skill set, knowledge and labor to create something to allow farmers to have a more efficient way of producing a product.

Mark Lynas GMO Speech

Mark Lynas, a world- renowned environmentalist, spoke at the 2013 oxford conference about genetically modified organisms and how his perspective on them changed when faced with science. During earlier years, Mark believed that GMOs were unhealthy for the people and the environment that used more pesticide’s then crops with their initial genetics; causing him to set up a campaign that was against GMOs and the usage of them. However, as the years proceeded forward, Mark slowly came faced with different experiences that led him to the scientific part of GMOs rather than the opinion of an Anti-GMO Environmentalist. This essentially led him to the discovery that GMOs use less pesticides and produce higher yields with less land which allows producers to feed more people with less of a need of additional investments such as, pesticides, that are believed to harm the surrounding ecosystems, people, and overall environment.

With this discovery, came a realization, that in years-time the world will need to feed the equivalent of 9.5 billion people with less land, water, fertilizer and pesticides with a global demand increase for food of 100%; to keep up with the growing population and the changes in economic stability within it. In addition to this realization, researchers proclaimed to the Anti- GMO Environmentalist and their act to remove GMOs would cause the world to face great hunger due to the lack of ability to feed the world with traditional or organic crops. Before this realization, Mr. Lynas also believed that organic crops were healthier and safer and would be better to grow overall. However, he changed his mind after the discovery that organic crops grow slower, need more labor, and more land to produce enough food to feed the world as well as are less likely to produce a good yield to contribute to the supply of food for the people.

With organic crops, he also found that they have caused more people to die and suffer, such as the Ecoli, breakout then GMO crops have in the 70 years they have been around. “The GMO debate is over, it is finished, we no longer need to discuss whether or not it’s not safe…there have been a substantial amount of meals that have caused no harm” (Mark Lynas). Essentially, Mr. Lynas was faced with scientific information instead of opinionated information which allowed him to realize that GMOs were safer and a more efficient technology to use now and in the future time and hopes that with this information, he will become a better environmentalist.

Guest Speaker James Atkins: Introduction to Irrigation

“ The Towers of Avalon was some of the first irrigated Agriculture” (James Atkins). James Atkins, an Irrigation specialist, informed the students of the University of Delaware about the importance of irrigation, the history, the irrigation methods used today, and the water rights that have been placed within the United States and in neighboring countries. Irrigation, one of the many important aspects in feeding the world, allows farmers and producers to control the amount of water that is placed on the field which allows the crop to get the needed amount of water for growth and development; essentially creating a higher yield. However, this was only possible due to the Towers of Avalon and their method of irrigation to apply water to their crops. During the earlier centuries, the towers of Avalon created and used the method of pumping water from a dam and letting it flow down to the field to apply water to their crops. This essentially, allowed for many to have a foundation to develop further methods of irrigation that eventually led to the use of aluminum pipes due to the abundance of aluminum after World War II to build sprinkler systems that are rolled manually, hard hose irrigation, and central irrigation.

With the developments of methods of irrigation during the earlier centuries, many were able to develop advanced systems that fit the different types of crops and their needs. Today, the irrigation methods of subsurface drip irrigation, traveling gun irrigation, shallow surface irrigation, and central pivot irrigation are used, the most widely being, central pivot irrigation. Central pivot irrigation, a process in which equipment rotates around a pivot and crops are watered through the sprinklers on the system that have zone and variability controlling that controls each of the individual water dispensing nozzles on the center pivot irrigation system and allows for efficient water dispensing over the areas needed on the field. With the use of irrigation of the fields, many states near a water source are under water rights due to the concern of the sustainability of water in that area, thus, this allows many to share the water without over usage of it. From this presentation, many things about the irrigation methods in the past and current day time can be learned which can help me and the other students develop a greater understanding of growing crops and the processes within it.

Throughout this lecture, Mr. Atkins discussed the importance of irrigation across the United States and the history that irrigation to be in the standing it is today which led myself and other students to develop a further understanding of irrigation and its benefits to farmers and producers and discover an interesting fact which was that irrigation is needed in many dry regions of the earth which has resulted into water rights to be placed to prevent the water source from running out.

Fifers Orchards Field Trip

“The thing we’re really blessed with is, none of us want to do the others job” (Bobby Fifer). Bobby fifer, the farmer of the Fifer’s operation, informed the University of Delaware students about fifers orchards through giving a tour of the different crops they were growing and the processes in growing and harvesting those crops for a successful product. Fifers Orchards, unlike many local farms, began during the early 19th century when the 1st generation moved from Virginia to Delaware, purchased land, and began growing various crops for profit. With the start of the farm from the first generation, over time the family began growing more crops and purchased more land in which has led to the fourth generation of the family to own and operate 3,000 acres and growing the crops: peaches, apples, strawberries, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, soybeans and sweet corn today; the corn and soybeans are mainly used as rotational crops.

On the farm, each family member has their own role which is part of the reason of why the farm has become very successful, along with the additions of technology contributes to the farm’s success as well. On the orchard, the orchard uses the technology practices of irrigation, tractors to apply pesticides and herbicides to the crop as well as harvest the corn and grain crops, trucks for transport of produce, cooler rooms to keep the produce fresh, and mechanical belts to size and weigh the produce has allowed the orchard to grow to the size of the current operation and further grow as time proceeds forward. Although there are various uses of technology on the farm, most of their crops produced are handpicked and packaged, as well as they have a running produce store that causes the operation to always have a need for labor; that is mainly received through a program of the government who provides the farm with people from out of country regions who are hard working and willing to work the tasks needed to produce a successful crop on the farm. Essentially, Fifers Orchards is a large operation that needs “all hands-on deck” to make this operation successful in the present and for future day time. Throughout this trip, many things can be learned which allows the students knowledge of the vegetable operation to further grow and expand.


Throughout this trip, the process of growing to selling produce, the roles of the family, labor, and how technology is used on the farm was discussed which allowed myself and the other students of the understanding todays ag class to develop a further understanding of the vegetable industry as well as gain new knowledge of the industry on the farm and the vegetable industry as a whole. During this trip, I learned that most of the crops were hand picked and were then weighed and sized through a mechanical belt operation as well as that each family member had their own role; which allowed me to come to a realization of just how close the family was and how the main part of the success of the operation was because the family stuck to their own roles. Essentially, reducing conflict and creating more focus on each part of the operation for “perfection” of each area of the operation so that their business is very successful as the result.


Guest Speaker Ed Kee: Iowa and California “Agricultural Giants”

“Iowa is an agricultural force in the United States and the world” (Ed Kee). Mr. Ed Kee, former secretary of agriculture, informed the University of Delaware’s understanding today’s agriculture class about the agricultural industry in the states of Iowa and California, their contribution to the states economically as well as the U.S. in food production, the climate and soils, and the advantages each state has in production. Within the state of Iowa, there are 87,000 farmers that till 30.1 million acres throughout the state and 92% of the state’s cash income comes from their leading production in the crops of corn and soybeans and in the production of pork and beef; all of which contribute to the states exports of $11 billion in products annually. However, the state’s success in crop production is all due to the climate and soil fertility the land holds. Iowa, unlike many eastern and western states, has a climate with a consistent moderate temperature and a rainfall of only 24 to 36 inches per year; the region also has loess soil that is composed of windblown silt and clay particles that hold nutrients and moisture longer which allows the crops to grow and be produced at a better rate than most states. Although Iowa is one of the largest producers in the world, California also has a large production rate of specific crops for the state and the U.S. as well.

California is able to produce vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes that account for 95% of the U.S. tomatoes, strawberries and other known fruits and vegetables in a shorter time period that allows the world to have a constant supply of those products. Essentially, with California’s high production rates, California is able to make $47 million a year in ag sales and exports 26% of its products that make the states agricultural industry have a $21 billion-dollar value overall which makes the industry very important within the state and for other states across the U.S. From this presentation, many things about the agricultural industry in the Iowa and California can be learned, which can help the students and myself to develop a better understanding of the industry as well as develop a broader perspective of the industry as a whole.


Throughout this lecture, Mr. Kee discussed the agricultural industry within the state of Iowa and California and their uniqueness economically and in food production which led myself and other students to develop a further understanding of agriculture in those states, a broader perspective of the agricultural industry overall, and learn an interesting fact. The interesting fact I learned throughout Mr. Kee’s lecture was that Iowa and California are the largest producers of crops and other products such as beef, pork, and milk which makes it very important to sustain the agricultural industry in those states now and in the future time.


Guest Speaker Ed Kee: Food Shed

“The Delmarva is the main food provider for the eastern states” (Ed Kee). Mr. Ed Kee, former secretary of agriculture, educated students of the university of Delaware’s, understanding todays ag class, about the importance of agriculture in Delaware, the history, and the factor it plays in feeding the east coast and the surrounding population. Delaware’s agriculture, unlike many states, feeds 1/3 of the U.S. population due to its close proximity to the large cities on the east coast. Delaware has over 2,500 farms which makes up 40% of the land in the state and 30% of that land is permanently reserved so the industry stays within Delaware and further contributes to the U.S. population. With agricultures major production to nearby states, the agricultural industry is able to make 1.2 billion in ag sales and 7.9 million in production and agricultural sales in total which allows the economy for Delaware to further drive in success. However, this was only possible due to the improvements in technology and the family and individual run farms that have been added and continue to grow over many years.

During the past centuries, railroads developed and eventually water transportation and local highways opened up which allowed food to be easily transported throughout the neighboring states; eventually leading to the improvement in the technology of equipment and process in crop production to occur as well. Improvements in tractors, genetics of plants, water production (irrigation), soil fertility, pest management, weed control and other production processes has allowed farmers to produce more food more efficiently with fewer problems throughout the plants growth which has allowed for better production and better food to be grown overall. Although agriculture is a striving industry in the state of Delaware, many challenges are faced in order to keep agriculture striving in the state. Before the presentation came to a close, Mr. Kee informed the students that within the agricultural industry, farming and agriculture as a whole must remain profitable, maintain a consistent and fair regulatory environment that is also effective, promote the best technology practices that are most efficient in production for farmers and safe for the environment, connect farmers with market opportunity and have connections with state and federal organizations in order to keep the industry striving and profitable enough for the farmers and others working in the industry to keep their businesses and production running. From this presentation, many things about the agricultural industry in the past and current day time can be learned, which can help the students and myself to develop a better understanding of the industry, especially the agricultural industry in Delaware.

Throughout this lecture, Mr. Ed Kee stressed the importance of Delaware’s agricultural industry and the history that led the industry to success today which led myself and other students to develop a further understanding of agriculture within the state of Delaware and discover an interesting fact which was that Delaware, on its own, feeds one third of the U.S. population making the agricultural industry very important to sustain now and for the future day time.

Guest Speaker Michelle Walfred: Branding and Social Media

“The way you brand yourself is crucial in getting a career” (Michelle Walfred). Ms. Michelle, certified in social media and communications, discussed and advised students at the University of Delaware the importance of decision making, presentation on and off social media, the issues with social media and branding yourself for today and for future careers. Throughout this presentation, the main takeaway was the topic of branding; branding is a marketing strategy used to create an image and identity that is unique and professional in which catches the eyes of employers or consumers. When branding yourself, it is important to develop proper mannerisms in a social gathering, effective communication skills, and a conscientious quality as developing these qualities can allow employers to become interested and see that individual as a good investment for their company in the present and for the future of it down the road. With branding, Ms. Michelle strongly advised students to be mindful of the use of social media and what is presented on your page, as posting one comment or one image can cause opinions to change about your appearance due to it offending someone or it being a bad representation of who you are as an individual and your interest. However, although social media can affect the identity of someone, it can also be used to create a professional identity and advocate for specific topics or beliefs, one specifically being, agriculture.

In todays society, many adopt beliefs before researching the truth about an event or a specific process or career which can cause those things to be downgraded. Thus, social media can be a resourceful way of presenting the truth out to the public as just like many things, agriculture is being villainized on certain processes that occur within the industry all due to the poor platform others have created for it. Essentially, the social media platform allows large agricultural organizations and companies to spread factual information and the truth about agriculture which can change the way the public views the industry for the better of agriculture companies and organizations and for the agriculture industry as a whole, across the world. From this lecture and the information gained, many things can be learned, especially those who are preparing to enter the work force.

Throughout this lecture, the topics of branding and using the social media platform were used which allowed the students within the understanding todays agriculture class and myself to develop a greater sense of social media and branding and ways that it could be affected, improved, and help obtain job opportunities. One fact that I found interesting, was how many organizations use the social media platform to speak the truth, which is unfortunate that many must use this platform to present the truth to the people in this society. However, with the knowledge of these topics, myself and the other students can build a brand and create opportunities for ourselves as well as help advocate for todays agriculture which can help the industry and ourselves today and our future investments.

Guest Speaker Georgie Cartanza: The Evolution of the Poultry Industry On Delmarva

Ms. Georgie Cartanza, a organic poultry farmer, presented and informed students of the Understanding Todays Agriculture class about the evolution of the poultry industry on the Delmarva and how it is managed today. On the Delmarva, there are ten processing plants, thirteen hatcheries, and ten feed mills each of which allow there to be many poultry houses on the Delmarva that are accounting for ten percent of the nations production. With these houses, many jobs are created as for every one job in the industry, it creates seven in the community which overall helps the economy of the state of Delaware. However, the poultry industry was only able to become this efficient and profitable because of the technology that has developed over time; that allows producers to have better structured houses, thermostatic heating, good ventilation inside the houses, feed access such as drips and troughs, and overall a better living environment for the birds which has made the industry very successful in producing poultry. While, in past years, the poultry industry had very little access to technology which limited the producer in the number of birds they could produce and how the producers could tend to the various health needs that are associated with these birds. Over time, the industry has also changed by becoming virtually integrated, which has caused Ms. Cartanza and other poultry producers to grow and produce poultry more based off of the control of the consumer; such as objects like enrichments and outdoor access, like in Ms. Cartanzas organic poultry house, to be placed. Essentially, throughout this presentation many things about the poultry industry in the past and current day time can be learned, which can help the students and myself to develop a better understanding of the industry and develop certain interest with it as well.


Throughout this presentation, I learned many things, the evolution of poultry production, its contribution to the local economy, and how the industry markets there product today. With marketing and production, the industry has become more integrated to the consumers desire for the industry, causing the consumer to become more in control; which I found very interesting because I’ve never heard of it and didn’t think that the consumer would have control of the industry let alone what occurs in the chicken house as well. With the information learned, I now have a better understanding of the industry and how it has become the industry it is today which can allow me to educate others about the poultry industry as well as develop a factual opinion about poultry farms in Delmarva and in other states of the United States.