On Wednesday, September 11th Mrs. Michele gave our class a lecture on the importance of branding yourself. She discussed the need for public social media profiles that portray the image of a professional and hardworking individual. It was also pointed out that these social media profiles should have good bios that help to tell people who you are and what you do. A very important point she made is that nothing ever comes off the internet, it is always saved somewhere even if you delete it. She stressed that anyone can see what you have posted online and how that can cause problems if someone searches for you online and finds images or posts that paint yourself in a negative or unprofessional light. The way you act can change the perception others have on you and behaving in courteous and professional ways can create a positive image of yourself in their head and be helpful in potentially earning a job or other similar scenarios.
This guest lecture put a fire under me when I left class I was in a very good mood and felt like I could do anything. I went to work right after class and immediately started to do so I’ve been getting more done then I ever have been. I’ve been looking at working as a way to brand myself better so that way when a future employer calls my current employer I will get nothing but positive comments. I will soon also be making a linkedin and a personal branding instagram. I’ve been wanting to do a instagram account like this where I share my gardening achievements and the different stuff Im trying out in my garden. I also had no clue what linkedin was so I’m glad Mrs.Michele gave us a brief overview of that it truly sounds like that will be very helpful in finding jobs in the field I want. I am not on twitter at all but I will also look more into that for the future. This whole presentations was amazing thank you so much Mrs.Michele
On September 11, 2019 Ms. Michele Walfred spoke to us about managing social media. She began with a bit of history about herself and her educational background. She was also a UD alum who wanted to major in art but switched to creative writing because the writing classes were offered later in the day and she felt she would be able to sleep.
Through a series of events that occurred while she was pursuing her education, she ended up altering her plans once again, pursuing a ‘real job’ instead of the Bohemian-style artist life she had envisioned. She ended up at the UD Agricultural Extension office with no what the 4H program was, believing she might be working with children or seeing eye dogs. She managed to land a position and earned her Associates and Masters, but along the way she stated, she always tried to take jobs for, ‘what she wanted to do, not what she was good at.’
It was at this point she mentioned Professor Isaacs, a professor who recognized her strengths and directed or recommended her to tasks accordingly. Ms. Walfred also took the opportunity to go to weekend and evening events on her own volition, looking to increase her skills whenever possible.
After the brief bio, Ms. Walfred showed the class screenshots of the homepages of three of her own websites on different platforms. She noted that across all platforms, her image or headshot was the same. She recommend we all try something similar to ‘brand ourselves’, expressing creativity through banners, but keeping our message clear on our own ‘search-able’ public sites. She recommended any potentially controversial images or writings go on separate private accounts, but reminded us that the internet is forever and we must behave and conduct ourselves in a professional manner when putting information and images out into the great wide Web.
Ms. Walfred also stated that complete absence of any digital platform can hurt and then championed Twitter as the platform of choice. She told us that by sharing on our social media we can also champion causes and issues that we care about- an example she used was an article about the highest U.S. suicide rates occurring among veterinarians. She then showed us a YouTube clip from a movie called, ‘A Bronx Tale’to illustrate a point about how all the ‘little’ actions matter and first impressions count.
Ms. Walfredconcluded by telling us how important social media can be for us in agriculture and to agriculture in general. First, she stressed the importance of being an, ‘Ag-vocate’ helping the environment in different ways, such as participating in, ‘Meatless Mondays’. She also mentioned ‘Delaware Ag Week’ and the impressive salaries of Social Media Managers at around ≈$75, 000. She also touched on the controversy that farmers often face- citing back to Ms. Cartanza’s presentation, namely the damage farming causes to the environment. A crowd of young males with SmartPhones will not post to their social media about how they are actively learning how not to pollute, the very thing a consumer might accuse them of.
Ms. Walfred ended on a quote that essentially said, ‘“To tell someone they’re wrong, 1st tell them how they’re right” – Blaise Pacal (Paraphrase)’She encourage us to stand up to mis-information while combatting misinformation with facts.
On Monday, September 9th Ms. Georgie Cartanza stopped by to give a guest lecture. She mostly spent time talking about the ways that poultry farming has changed over the years as well as how the perception the general public has on poultry farming differs from the reality of what is going on on farms. She showed us an image of the size of chickens from decades ago compared to chickens from the current day. She claimed how the media portrays these drastic changes as the effects of pumping the chickens full of steroids and hormones when in reality these changes have come from decades of improvements in genetics and nutrition. The economic effects were also touched on. She claimed that for each Poultry industry job created 7 more jobs in the community are also created. On top of that, she talked about how different regulatory groups place different regulations and requirements on poultry farms that can make it much more expensive and economically challenging to run a poultry farm.
A few days after we visited Georgie’s farm, she stopped by Carvel Center to give a lecture about the evolution of poultry farming on Delmarva and the challenges that poultry growers face due to negative public perception of the poultry industry.
Every aspect of poultry farming on Delmarva has changed in some way since its inception, from the way the birds are housed, fed and watered to the technology used to monitor temperature, feed and water consumption. The size of the chickens has even changed, with birds having quadrupled in size over the last 70 years.
While these changes have revolutionized the poultry industry, some of them have garnered a negative public perception of the industry. For example, the quadrupling in size of chickens has led some outside the industry to accuse growers of using steroids and growth hormones. In truth, the increased size is due to selective breeding.
Between our visit to Georgie’s farm and her lecture, I feel that I now have a more comprehensive view of the poultry industry and the myriad economic and environmental challenges that growers face, as well as their continual fight against negative public perception.
Dan Severson shared data on beef, hogs, sheep, goats, and dairy cows. Severson gave information on each species different kinds of productions. He also explained and emphasized what it means to be defined as a farm. A farm is a production that sells at least $1,000 of farm products a year. Severson explained the big hit that the dairy industry has faced causing dairy farmers to sell their farms and animals. Surprisingly, Delaware has 28 dairy farms. That’s a large number for such a small state. Severson’s lecture on livestock was definitely insightful and I enjoyed listening to him come in and speak about the other livestock industries that Delaware has to offer.
I’m really interested when our guest speakers decide to tell us about their experience through college and what has led them to where they are today. Valann Budischak’s past experiences have definitely stuck out to me as I was reflecting back on their presentation. She majored in business while in college, which led her to work her way towards being a regional account manager for Dewalt Black & Decker. Her career path changed once she had two kids and didn’t want to live on a train or a plane anymore commuting for long hours. She took a chance and was accepted to be an executive director for the Delaware Nursery & Landscape Association. I am definitely starting to believe that you just need to pick a path and life will lead you where you are meant to go. In regard to their speech about Delaware’s Green Industry, I never realized how big of a market it is. It makes a lot of sense as many homeowners, restaurants, golf courses, all want to look presentable and plants have always been a great option. This creates so many possibilities within this market. Some of these jobs include producers, retailers, landscapers, land managers, suppliers, etc. I am glad I was exposed to an industry that I previously didn’t give much thought or attention to.
Listening to former Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee last Wednesday Sept. 26, I realized that the United States has by far one of the most diverse agriculture industries in the world. This diversity is due to our various climates and soils from coast to coast that allows farmers to grow the crop that will best grow on their farm. As for California and Iowa they have excelled in finding what best grows in their state allowing these two states to hold the top two positions in the U.S. agriculture industry. Iowa is a state that really catches my attention because they grow many commodities that we grow here on the delmarva but they achieve unthinkable yields. Kee taught us that because of their high yields Iowa leads the country in both corn and soybean production, which is an astonishing accomplishment if you ask me. But then I realize that they have a huge advantage compared to little Delaware because they have 30.5 million acres in farmland compared to 450,000 acres here. Then when I look at California the top agriculture state I’m just amazed how they cope with only 10 inches of rain a year by using aqueducts that bring water to their crops. California also amazes me by ranking number 1 in 9 different commodities in the U.S. and being the 10th largest general economy in the world! That means out of all the countries in the world just one state has enough economic activity to rank 10th, it just takes me by surprise. Overall I could talk about these two states for days because the information that Ed Keeps taught me was very interesting.
Delaware the first state; located on the eastern side of United States is one of the smallest states in the country, but has a huge impact on the countries agriculture economy believe it or not. During our guest lecture from former Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, I learned a lot about the small state of Delaware that I thought was quite interesting.
One thing that stood out to me was this state brings in $1.2 billion in Ag Sales annually which then stimulates $6 to $7 billion of economic activity throughout the state that is not necessarily agriculture but does have some connections. Then there is around 510,000 acres of farmland in Delaware that makes up 41% of the land in farms. Another thing that is interesting is how Delaware is focusing on preserving their farmland and trying to help young farmers start up. The state currently has 110,000 acres preserved strictly for the use of farmland and has a program called Delaware’s Young Farmer Program that helps with the transition to the next generation. This lecture really showed me that Delaware is trying to do everything they can because the world’s population is constantly growing and needs agriculture for support.
I’ve never really given much thought to how social media can be so powerful in helping to create a positive image for myself . I’ve always seen it as an advertising technique for companies as a way to hopefully gain more recognition. Ms. Michele Walfred’s lecture exposed me to another way to look at social media. We are all brands. We should be using platforms to be positively improving our own image of how we want to be seen. The internet has made so many aspects of our lives easier, but with this power comes responsibility. Today, companies will most likely search your name on the internet while in the interview process for a new job. The company is investing in you when they decide to hire you. They want to know as much as they can before making any kind of commitment. When you work for a company, you are also representing the company and its values. If customers see that they hire well-rounded people, this could greatly improve the company’s image as a whole. One important piece of advice that Ms. Walfred gave is that it is always a good idea to reply to people on social media. People will know that you are paying attention to them and your presence will soar.
Georgie Cartanza came in to our class and gave a guest lecture on her experience in the poultry industry and owning a poultry farm. It was a very informative lecture, I previously knew very little about the poultry farming industry or where our chicken comes from. I was surprised to learn that for every job in the poultry industry, seven are created in the community. She explained to us how she started her poultry farm after working in the industry for many years, and how the poultry company provides a lot of the things she needs to run her farm efficiently. We also were told about the amazing technology that is used to control the ventilation and temperature within the chicken houses. Overall, Georgie gave us a lot of very useful information and gave me a much better perspective of where the chicken that we eat comes from. I was amazed at how it all works.
I found Ed Kee’s second lecture to be just as interesting as his first. He again touched on agriculture, but this time, on states I have never visited: Iowa and California. It was interesting to find that they are the two largest agricultural states while they are vastly different. For example, in Iowa there is more rain, rivers, and aquifers, while in comparison, California is quite dry, has lowered water tables, and depends on snowmelt. They also have completely different exports. Iowa, like Delaware, exports mostly corn, soybeans, and meat (in this case beef and pork). California, on the other hand, exports mostly horticulture crops, milk & cream, and almonds. From this, we can really notice how climate and soils affect what can be produced some place, even with the use of fertilizers, chemicals, and GMOs. Technology is a major factor but the climate, soils, and diseases will usually rule what can be planted, produced, and sold.
Michele Walfred’s lecture was both funny and informative. I really appreciated this lecture as it tied in many practical aspects that can be used in everyday life and into the future. I found this lecture the most beneficial thus far as it will be helpful for getting into vet schools, as I am sure they are doing background research on their applicants. Not only this but it will be beneficial for any internships of jobs I apply to in the coming future. It also helped to reinforce information we already know but tend to ignore/ forget about such as putting our phones away during dinner or conversations, focusing on other people, and being polite and respectful in different manners. I think we often tend to forget about those things as more technology is created, and we start to become less social. I hope to have more lecture like these in the future.