Guest Lecture : Ed Kee
Where is Delaware? Delaware is the first state, located on the eastern shore of United States. Delaware is one of the smallest states in the country but has a huge impact on the availability of food within our Delmarva peninsula and surrounding states within 8 hours of Delaware. Guest lecturer former Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, gave insight on the importance of agriculture within our state and our country.
Delaware has about 500,000 acres which 40% of the land is used for farming and agriculture purposes. Delaware brings in $1.2 billion in Ag Sales annually that will then stimulate a $6-7 billion of economic activity. It is easily seen that agriculture is an important component for the state’s economic health. 1/3 of the nation’s population lives within 8 hours of the state and Delaware’s role in agriculture makes it possible to feed people on the eastern side of the US. In fact, the Wilmington, DE port is the biggest importer of bananas and Chilean peppers that we consume daily. Delaware maintains their stance in agriculture with the support of people like Ed Kee. Ed Kee aided the Aglands Preservation campaign that offers resources to ensure that farmland remains as farmland. The state currently has 110,000 acres preserved for farmland; equaling 20% of Delawares farmland. There is also a Delaware’s Young Farmer Program, helps with the startup of young farmers. Preservation of the land is important because there has been a 26% decrease in acres available for farmland since the 1950’s and will continue to dwindle as more development within the state occurs. Key components to keep agriculture systems sustainable for future growth is preservation, technology advancements, and environmental management practices.
- Guest Speaker : Michele Walfred
Communications Specialist, Michele Walfred explains that identifying your brand and marketing that brand is key to your success with career, internship, and business opportunities. When identifying your brand the key is to keep everything with your real name moderate and professional. This includes keep social media accounts separate, it’s ideal to have a personal account and a serious account this is branded to your real name. Always use caution when accepting new friends/followers on social media, accounts could have hidden agendas. Creating a professional brand demonstrates how well networked or connected a candidate is. With many organizations moving into social media they are looking for staff that have these skills and connections. It is very hard to erase your social imprint online so it’s best to follow these tips. When having a moderate and professional brand people tend to take you more seriously and beneficial because people will want to hear what you have to say.
So what is agvocating?
Agvocating is to advocate for agriculture. Advocating for agriculture is important because there are so many negative false reports on what agriculture is. It is important for Agvocates to debunk the information that is false. To do so one can post on their social media accounts providing information about agriculture to educate people that have little information or interest in agriculture. So all agriculture lovers start Agvocating!
Delaware Farmer, Georgie Cantanza
Georgie has a wealth of knowledge in the poultry industry. As a guest speaker, Georgie was able to inform students on common misconceptions about the poultry industry. Georgie reminds students that the food industry altogether is ever-changing to reduce stress on the animals, farmers, and the environment. While producing a profitable product that consumers want.
Georgie is an organic poultry farmer overseeing and growing out 5 1/2 flocks a year on a four chicken house farm. Georgie was able to explain that although the chickens have access to the outdoors it is not always optimal for the birds health to be outside. The weather and bio security hazards can be reasons as to why the chickens are not always outside on an organic farm. Georgie explained that the houses are set up to the optimal atmosphere that satisfies the chickens needs. I look forward to visiting her farm and to see if there are any major differences in the production of organic vs conventional chickens.