Category Archives: Guest Lecture

James Adkins Presentation on Irrigation

The other day, Mr. Adkins made a presentation for us on irrigation. There are so many different ways for farms to get irrigated. This is a very important topic when in the agricultural industry. Without irrigation crops and soil would be very dry and it would be hard for them to grow. One thing that surprised me was that only 20% of farmlands are irrigated and 40% of the US food source is irrigated. I though that have been a much greater number. Over this was a great presentation and I was very interested. This is a key factor in farming and everyone in the industry should be educated on it.

Dr. David Mayondo with Bayer Agrisciences

Dr. David Mayondo spoke to our Understanding Today’s Agriculture class on the advancement of technology in agriculture. He talked about how agriculture in the past was a very hands on and labor intensive career. Over time farming has advanced in all areas putting technology in the forefront of the industry. One of the biggest advancements are in the area of biotechnology and GMOs. Dr. Mayondo spoke about the different characteristics found in GMOs like round up ready and DroughtGard Corn. He also spoke about gene silencing in corn to help defend rootworm. Rootworms attack the root of the corn plant causing nutrient deficiencies and harm to the structure of the crop. With the ability to defend the crop from harmful pest, we can produce a healthier and higher yielding crop.

Guest Lecturer Dave Mayondo

On November 11th, Lecturer Dave Mayondo came to class and talked to us about the use of and innovations in technology related to agriculture.  The integration of more advanced technologies in the agriculture industry has drastically decreased the amount of hands on labor required to operate a farm. Only on certain, more specialty crops, does one need a sizable manual work force.

This use of technology is beneficial to the farmers for many reasons. Firstly, they can spend less money on hired hands to work the fields, and they don’t have to strain their body through labor as much themselves. The technology also allows for more crop yield through things like precision agriculture and more advanced irrigation systems.

One of the things that Mayondo stated in relation to how technology has helped increase yields was the improvements in pesticides and pest control through GMO’s. Using these methods, pests can be controlled much more efficiently, with less human risk, and with less environmental impact.

The Horse Racing Industry

On Monday, November 18th, 2019, Mark Davis talked to the class about the Horse Racing Industry in Delaware. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports, and it all began in the 12th century. Knights back in the day used Arabian horses for crusades. The earliest record of horse racing was in the 1500’s in England, not long after racecourses became a thing. In 1665, America received their first racecourse in Long Island. The Jockey Club was then established. It’s a club for racers. Americas first harness racing track was called the Harlem Course, and was in New York. The first speed record was recorded here in 1806. There are 9.2 million horses in the U.S. 2 million people own horses. Horses have a 102 million impact on U.S economy. Delaware racing began in 1706. Delaware park had its grand opening June 26, 1937 and was a thirty day meet. In 1967 Dover Downs was incorporated. First race took place in 1969. Horse racing was a huge, 182 million. Horse racing is a huge industry, and will forever amaze those interested,

Harness Racing Industry with Mark Davis

On Monday, November 18th Mr. Mark Davis was a guest lecturer in my Understanding Today’s Agriculture class. Mr. Davis is a representative of Delaware’s Horse Racing Industry. He briefly discussed the history of horse racing and the difference between the two styles of horse racing. Harness racing is the style of racing were a driver is pulled in a small cart by the horse. Thoroughbred racing is your high-class racing, with a greater opportunity for winning large cash prizes. We also learned about the extremely strict regulations and how the horses and jockeys are given drug test to ensure there is no form of cheating. Many people must be involved in a horse to be profitable, this includes drivers, trainers, owners, vets, groomers, etc. Mr. Davis further explained the importance of purses in the equine racing industry. A purse is essentially the price for winning a race. The purse is then split in specific percentage and given to all the people involved in the success of the horse. I personally have never been involved with the equine racing industry, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to hear about it from an industry professional.

Horse Racing

The guest lecture we were presented on the horse racing industry was very interesting to me. I would always watch them at casinos with my family so it was nice to learn more about them. I would go to Harrah’s in Chester close to my house. Horse racing has been around for such a long time and there are different ways they can race. People can either race trotters or they can race pacers. I was surprised to see that 46 % of horse owners have an income of 25,000 to 75,000 dollars. There are billions of horses that make this amount of money which is not that much. The oldest operating racetrack is 73 years old. This is surprising because some racetracks have been shut down because they were unable to fill slots. A big way for a horse to make a lot of money is for them to come in first place in a purse race. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in history and is still going on until this day.

Guest Lecturer Mark Davis

On November 18th, Mark Davis came to class to talk about the equine industry in the state of Delaware. The majority of this industry it seems is focused on horse racing and the like. He stated that racing has likely been around ever since humans first tamed horses, and that the industry has survived around the world ever since. Delaware traces it’s horse racing heritage back to colonial times, and it get’s most of its traditions from English racing.

For a long time this was the predominant way to gamble, with slot machines being added to casinos in order to generate money for the racing. The industry makes a lot of money, and generates jobs for a good amount of Delaware residents.

Thoroughbred horse racing is where most of the money is, but standard breed and quarter horse racing is very common too.  Another common type of racing is harness racing.

Guest Lecture 11/11

Dr. Dave Mayondo came to class to talk about technology in agriculture and the industry. In the past, farming was very hands on with lots of people working on the farm and a few animals. Instead of going to school, kids worked on the farm. A lot of this is not the case anymore, kids now go to school and with the application of more technological resources, farming isn’t as hands on and you don’t need as many people to take care of farm as back then. The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 established the raising of funds for land-grant colleges. It gave land to colleges to teach students how to farm, it makes sure that the farming industry stayed secure and allowed for new farmers, who didn’t have previous knowledge in farming, to learn and become farmers. 

Tools for managing pests also changed throughout the years too. With the addition of gene editing, it’s easier to have crops that can handle pests and don’t require as many pesticides. I honestly think that there are pros and cons to gene editing. It is good for a change and keeping better plant health, but it still has a bad wrap. If we can educate the public in a kind and nice manner, they will take our points and maybe change their own views. 

The Equine Industry with Mark Davis

Horse racing has been around for centuries, since the 1100’s. Harness racing and thoroughbred racing are the most common types of racing and continue to be the most common, with quarter horse racing and other kinds still happening. Regulations in the horse racing are very strict, in order to keep the sport fair and prevents doping and cheating in the industry. Licenses are presented to Drivers, Trainers, Owners, and employees to make sure regulations are being met and everyone is following the rules. Money is also a big part of the industry. Horses race for a purse, or a certain amount of money, that is the main driver of this sport. When a horse wins, that money won from the race goes back into the horse and everyone apart of that horse, like the driver and trainer. Overall, the industry makes around 182 million for the Delaware economy and creates about 1,500 for Delawareans.

Horse Racing Industry in Delaware

Mark Davis visited the class to talk about the impact and history of horse racing in Delaware. Horse Racing in Delaware Dates as far back to 1760s but it wasn’t until 1934 the Delaware Racing Commission was established, with the creation of Delaware Park following shortly after in 1937. Ten years later, “the Harrington Raceway was established and stands today as the oldest continuously operating harness racing track in the country” in 1946. Only 20 years later the horse racing industry took an impact and the Delaware Horse Racing Redevelopment Act was passed to help support the racing industry. The act allowed slot machines present at racetracks with part of the Casinos revenue going toward to purses for horse racing. When it comes to Harness and thoroughbred racing, Delaware regulates around 2,000 licenses a year for harness racing. Harness racing has 145 days with 2,000 races. Delaware also regulates around 5,000 licenses for thoroughbred racing. Thoroughbred has only 80 race days a year with 600 races.  One fact which stuck with me was the economic impact the horse racing had to the Delaware economy. The horse racing industry contributed $182 million and supported 1,540 jobs.  For every $100 spent in the industry, resulted in $182 of total spending in Delaware.

Dave Mayonado: Industry and Academia in Agriculture

In this lecture, Dave Mayonado gave a brief history of how the agriculture industry grew and what it’s important to United states society. Around the late 1800’s the Land grant universities were formed to educate farmers and also conduct experiments on advance agriculture production. These organizations were deemed as experiment stations, and have greatly affected how the agriculture community has advanced over the years. Due to his former employment at Monsanto, Dave Mayonado explained the recent allegations that have grown around Monsanto’s Round-up. He revealed that it is not infact  cancerous, which the allegations were claiming. Not only this, but the allegations were proved incorrect by other various researchers across the world. His take home message was: science based agronomic reasearch and development has led to huge increases in crop production efficieny and yield.

Industry and Academia in Agriculture

David Mayonado, a Technology Development Representative for Bayer (formally Monsanto) came to class to talk about the partnership between the industry and academia of agriculture. A few Acts came about in the late 1800’s early 1900’s to make this partnership possible. Some kay Acts include the Morrill Act, raising funds to establish land grant colleges and the Smith-Lever Act, creating Cooperative Extension services. These Acts are what allow the University of Delaware’s very own Cooperative Extension program. This partnership sparked the start of a revolution for agriculture. By “applying rigorous scientific principles to the development of agricultural technologies and techniques has allowed farmers to produce larger crops all while improving soil quality”, David said the industry is helping farmers not only save money but help improve environmental impact. Finally, David talked about his time with the company. He talked about Monsanto history, including when Roundup Original was created (1976) and when they started Genetically modifying plant cells (1982). David ended on a very positive message to the audience and made it very clear Roundups’ main ingredient, glyphosate, should not be considered harmful by the consumer and is backed by multiple government agencies.

Dave Mayonado on Pest Management

On Monday, November 11th, we were given a lecture on the pest management industry by Dave Mayonato. He provided the class with insight on how important it is that American agriculture incorporates pest management to prevent disease and increase crop or livestock yield for consumers. Dave gave us a brief description of the history of pest control, which began at agricultural experiment stations that were built due to the Hatch Act of 1887. This act authorized the establishment of said agricultural experiment stations to research different crops. Today, intensive research on these plants and the adoption of technology is improving this production with every year. The adoption of various mechanical, chemical, and biological tools is the cause of this. At the beginning of agricultural processes, the land was labored by man and animal. As time progressed and steel was created, machine-powered agricultural kicked off. Then came chemical agriculture, where different chemical compounds were formulated to control pests. Lastly is the new era of agriculture. By manipulating the proteins/RNA in a cell, scientists have been able to produce the biotechnology for higher and healthier crop yields on farms. He then showed us a bar graph of the number of white-tailed deer harvests in Maryland, spanning from the years of 1927 to 2012. The white-tail deer populations have increased according to this graph because of the application of these agricultural technologies and techniques that allow these Mid-Atlantic farmers to produce larger crops, improve soil quality, and promote a healthy ecosystem. Commercial products of biotechnology such as “RoundUp” and “DroughtGard” corn have allowed for more effective control of weeds and drought resistance among plants to let farmers take a break and decrease their labor fatigue. Many of these companies today use biotechnology to provide for consumers, which are the farmers in this instance. Without pest management and different uses of technology today, farming would not be as effective or cost-friendly to those who cultivate that land.

Guest Lecture by David Mayonado

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. 

Horse racing in DE

Mark Davis came to out class to talk about the horse racing industry in Delaware. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports, and has been going on essentially since the horse has been domesticated, and little has changed about the race itself. However, there have been many regulations and standards that are now being made and enforced compared to the origins of the race. In 1750, the Jockey Club was created to set the standards of thoroughbred racing standards and regulations. Both the horses and jockeys are continuously tested for drugs, mostly the winning horses and horses that are suddenly performing much better or worse than usual. This is an effort to keep racing fair and to ensure the health of the horses. That being said, thoroughbred horses ten to have more health problems, as they are running at faster speeds and are carrying the weight of their jockey. Harness racing horses are at less of a health risk because they are trotting or pacing, and instead of carrying a jockey, they are pulling their driver, which is less stressful on joints. The peak of horse racing was in 1989, where it was the second most attended sport, just after baseball.