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,

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.

Fifer’s Orchards

This past week our class took a trip to Fifer’s Orchards in Delaware. One of the owners Bobby, toured us around the entire farm and talked to us about lots of different crops and how they keep all of them under control. They grows lots of different fruits and vegetables. This was a very enjoyable field trip because this is the type of stuff I am interested in. He explained all of the cool machinery and how they are able to grow all their crops. Their best crop to grow is tomatoes, strawberries, sweet corn, and pumpkins. Those are their best money makers. I would highly recommend Fifer’s to anyone because it is such a friendly and fascinating place.

UD Farm Field Trip

The other week our class took a trip to the UD farm down on South Campus. We got a tour of the cow farm and all the machinery they use for them. On this trip we were focused on more the animals. We saw plenty of them over the course of the morning. We saw how cows were milked and how the milking process could easily get messed up. Another big part of the field trip was about the sheep. The majority of them were slaughtered. There are many different aspects of life on the farm we have at UD and these animals are all used in different and unique ways. None of the ways to care for these animals is easy but they definitely are interesting.

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.

David Mayonado Guest Lecture

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to class to see Dr.Mayonado lecture, but being able to watch it after the fact was a huge help. First off I want to say that I think Bayer is a great company. I really like the work they do and the different types of field education classes they offer to the public. The best part of the presentation for me was being able to here about what it is like working in a company. It was very interesting to learn about how there were 30 industries developing new herbicides and products like that and now over the span of a few years that number has dropped to just 4. Which seems weird because you would think that as technology advances and continues to grow that getting your hands on that type of technology would be easier. But, I guess that with all these flare ups of false allegations that it probably helped a lot of these companies fail and discouraged anyone from trying it. It probably has made it just that more difficult to start up a company that creates pesticides and herbicides by means of paper work and regulations. It is crazy to me that people can make a case out of the little information they have that RoundUp causes cancer. Especially, when all of these other trusted organizations are disagreeing with that. It would be like if a organization in Europe said 1+1=3 but all these other organizations were saying no it definitely equals 2. But the public and the court are saying well they said it equals 3 so it must equal 3. It just doesn’t make sense to me how our judicial system just seems like there are suspending logic on these cases.

David Mayonado Guest Lecture

Last Wednesday, David Mayonado gave a guest lecture on agricultural technology, his experiences working for Monsanto, and the current status of the litigation surrounding Round-Up. He discussed the history of agricultural research stations and Cooperative Extension. He also described the events that precipitated significant increases in agricultural production, namely mechanical, chemical, and biological, such as GMO’s. Continuing, he stressed the extensive research conducted on GMO’s, proving that they  are safe for consumption.

David provided some insight into the history of Monsanto, describing their rise and eventual acquisition by Bayer. He also told us about his career working for Monsanto. He job often changes, reflecting the change Monsanto has undergone.

In conclusion, David discussed the ongoing litigation surrounding the weed killer Round-Up. Research by almost all organizations on glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Round-Up, suggests that glyphosate is not dangerous to humans in any reasonable amount. The EPA also took action against the state of California when they attempted to pass a bill forcing Round-Up to be labelled as carcinogenic within the state.


A Class Journal for UDel CANR AGRI 130