All posts by vnovo

Food Labeling

Nowadays America faces a huge obesity epidemic that has reached a record high. It’s undeniable that America needs to address this issue and make some serious changes to the eating habits of Americans.  The initiate has recently taken places to make changes to food labeling, however, this has brought both positives and negatives.  People deserve to know how and with what their food is made.  Correct food labeling allows consumers to make their food decisions easier, however, this may cause consumers to be more selective.   GMO’s are very controversial and some people may stray away from food products that have it on the label.  People could interpret GMO labeling as a warning what people don’t know is genetically modified are safe to eat. Food labeling gives consumers the information they should know.  It also gives consumers the peace of mind, many people have food allergies thus people require the acknowledgment of if their food is made gluten-free.  It’s all relative to who are you and how you perceive your food.

The Horse Racing Industry

Mark Davis presented the lecture on The Horse Racing Industry in Delaware.  As soon as I saw the powerpoint on this topic I instantly thought of my dad. My dad used to spend his free weekends at a race track and I always wondered why I couldn’t go with him.  Now I understand that it’s not the type of race track that I thought it was where you can interact and ride the horses, instead it’s a place where adults go to place bets on horses. Of course, there’s more to just that but I wasn’t aware of everything that goes into this industry until this lecture.   I thought it was interesting seeing the breakdown of the money purses.  I always have associated the top three winners to win some type of share of the prize but the horse industry rewards the top 5.  However, with all the money that is involved, I learned that this is why people in the industry have the incentive to cheat.  After this lecture I made sure to tell my dad about it, I was hoping I could tell him something he wouldn’t know about the industry but he knew it all.

Delaware’s Green Industry

The class lecture on Delaware’s Green Industry was presented by Tracy Wootten and Valann Budischak.  I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture due to the fact that I’ve never been lectured on this subject and I was able to learn a lot from it!  The lecture was introduced with the question of what/who is the green industry.  Wootten and Budischak then went into describing different crops such as floriculture and nursery crops.  Before learning about these crops, I had no idea what they were but Ms. Tracy and Valann did a great job with visuals and their definitions which helped me understand the difference between these two crops.  Although this industry doesn’t relate to my major both woman provided the class with great job and internship opportunities.  I wasn’t aware of the many different job opportunities that exists in this industry, I found it very fascinating.  Overall, I enjoyed learning about Delaware’s Green Industry.

Mark Lynas at 2013 Oxford Farming Conference

When I began listening to Mark Lynas speech at the 2013 Oxford Farming Conference it didn’t take too long to learn what his position on GMOs was, however, I wasn’t quick to judge.  Being that I am for GMOs I expected to find myself a bit agitated when he confessed to aiding the startup of an anti- GMO movement.  It was quite apparent that Mark spent a significant part of his life campaigning against GMOs and believing the assumptions he suspected of what GM’s contributed to.  I appreciated Mark stating his position and beliefs on GMO’s prior to when he realized he was listening to myths.   He took the time to state what he previously held true about GM’s and then went on to correct his assumptions.  One of the assumptions Mark discussed was, “I’d assumed that it would increase the use of chemicals”.  Directly following this statement, he remarked, “It turned out that pest-resistant cotton and maize needed less insecticide”.  It is evident that Mark carefully analyzed what he may have put out to his followers back when he has against GM’s. He is now correcting his misassumptions and delivering out the actuality of what GM’s are to inform those who he misinformed.  I believe Mark Lynas is a great example of what many people first think of GMO’s unfortunately unlike Mark many people don’t do the correct research on GMOs so they fall for the myths that exist of them.  This video should be spread and shown to students so the misconceptions that are out there about GMOs are reevaluated.   People need to understand that GMO’s are essential in agriculture because it allows more production of food which, ensuring more people can be appropriately supplied and fed.

My Trip to Hoober

This past Saturday, my classmates and I visited Hoober Inc. to tour its site and learn about the history of the company along with how technology plays a vital role in agriculture today.   I’ve never visited a store like Hoober so the field trip was very informative.  We were toured around by two very kind workers.  They began the tour by telling us a little bit about themselves and how their company was brought up.  I was shocked to hear that one of the workers didn’t go to college and the other did but majored in pre-vet. That goes to show that life is inevitable and like professor Isaac always says even if your desired job is to be let’s say a doctor you could end up being something completely different like a sales associate at Hoober!  After we were given this introduction we were taken out back to the garage where we saw machines getting repaired.  It was amazing seeing some of these machines up close because I’ve only really seen them in pictures.  I wasn’t expecting them to be as big as they actually are.  Later on, we were taken outside and we learned more about the machines that were located near a corn field.  Again, I was shocked to see how big these machines are and even more shocked to hear how much they cost.  After hearing about how the machines are engineered and the technology inside of them, I understood why the machines are expensive.  The last part of the field trip was my favorite.  Not only did we learn about drones but we also got to see two in action.   I’ve seen drones before but nothing compared to the one that I saw that day. To end our day at Hoober, we got to take a machine out for a whirl. Although I was a bit apprehensive about driving one at first, I’m glad I got to do it.  Not many people can say they’ve driven a sprayer before!

Poultry Farm Tour

Initially, when Dr. Isaacs informed my class about our field trip to the poultry farm I was a bit apprehensive about it.  Being that I’m a vegetarian, I was afraid I’d be exposed to conditions that I wouldn’t be emotionally ready for.  Aside from that, I’ve seen cruel documentaries of how chickens are mistreated. But after our class lecture about the evolution of the poultry industry and the farm we would be visiting, I was less anxious about the field trip.

To my surprise, the farm was nothing that I expected it to be.  The farm is run by a woman named Georgie Cartanza.  Ms. Cartanza is a very hardworking woman who has dedicated most of her work life to the poultry industry.  She is extremely passionate and well-informed about the chickens she raises.  I was shocked when she told us that she has approximately 148,000 chickens and only has two other people help her maintain and care for the chickens.  I was under the impression that she would have many more people helping her.  She was very welcoming and allowed us into one of the chicken houses.  Although I contemplated if I wanted to go into one, I’m glad that I decided to.  The house was very well kept and the chickens seemed to be content in their environment. The chickens are provided with ample food and water through rows of dispensers.  After seeing all the technology used to run the houses, I understood why Ms. Cartanza doesn’t need much additional help.  I was pleased to hear that her chickens are organically grown meaning they aren’t given any antibiotics and are provided with natural light.

This field trip allowed me to see a side of the poultry farm I most likely wouldn’t have known about. Due to all that I’ve seen and heard about animal farms, I found it difficult to see around the negative associations.  However, I can say that Georgie’s farm has skewed my perception.