Mr. Mark Davis came to our Agriculture class lecturing us about the Horse industry in Delaware. He is the Delaware’s Executive director of Harness Racing Commission. The horse racing in one of the oldest of all sports. It began in 12th century, invent by British, then introduce to America in 1665 in Long Island. There are 9.2 million horses in the United States. The horse industry has massive and direct economic impact on the U.S. economy. It creates $39 billion annually. Tremendous people in U.S. own horses and love horse racing. Compared to Harness racing and Standardbred racing, Thoroughbred racing has less race game per year but produce more money to the industry. A big industry always supports a lot of job opportunities. In 2014, the horse racing industry created 1500 jobs. In Delaware, there are about 100 farms housing 775 thoroughbreds and 300 farms housing 3000 standardbreds, 1000 of them are one-year-old racing horse and breeding stock. And the annual thoroughbred cost is also high than the standardbred.
Dr. David Mayondo lectured us about the industry and academia in the agriculture. He told us how agriculture looks like in the past. It is a job that required massive labor and time input. If you are a farmer or live in a farmer family, you may live with farm or agriculture for the whole life. But with the development of technologies, the yield and production increased and the labor and time decreased. The tools of pest management changes over time. In the beginning, farmers use hand or animal. Then it changed to machinal tools and chemical tools. Nowadays, farmers use the biological tools to control pest, like CRISPR, GMO, GWS, and RNAi. Proteins have the potential to be powerful tools for enhancing agricultural production, as well as being highly biodegradable and produced in plants that need them. There are several commercial products of biotechnology. For example, Roundup Ready Crops can allow farmer manage weeds in a more effective and efficient way, or YieldGard Corn can allow farmer control targeted pest without harming the beneficial and non-threatening insects.
In oct 21, 2019, Mr. Dan Severson, a new castle county extension agent, came to my class and lectured my class about the livestock industry in DE. He told us many features that something we know and something we don’t know of Delaware farms. To be consider as a farm, this land should produce and sell $1,000 or more of agricultural products annually, or those products normally would have been sold annually. There are 2500 farms in Delaware, and economic contribution of agriculture to Delaware’s economy is about $8 billion. Farmers’ age average are 5-60 years old. Most of farms are family farms. It is about 98%. The biggest two war in the history, WWI and WWII, affect the livestock production heavily. Over time, all type of meat, like beef, pork, lamb or goat, consumption is decreased except poultry. Sheep and goat industries play a low role in the livestock industry in the US and Delaware. They are most likely to be raise in smaller herd size and backyard.
On October 16, 2019, Tracy Wooten and Valann Budischak came to my class lecture us about the Green Industry in Delaware. When I hear green, I thought it is just about the plants. But I was wrong. It is more interesting than I though. Green industry includes that nursery business, landscape design and maintenance, land management and so on. It is similar with other industries that many people play different roles. It has producers, landscapers, land managers, golf courses suppliers and others. Horticultural Product Sales is a big part of green industry in Delaware. It creates over 21.7 million dollars sales. When Ms. Wootten and Ms. Budischak showed us a picture of railroad landscape, professor Issacs raised a question that why weed is not allowed to grow on the railroad. It is because the train will pass through with high speed and produce elevated temperature in the surface of rail which will cause fire hazard when weed is growing in there. To sum up, I learned some interesting information about green industry.
Hearing Ed Kee come and Lecture again was a great opportunity for learning. He knows so much and I found it kinda funny that he brought bacon and gave it someone. But, it did drive a major point across Iowas pork industry travels all around. I always just assumed that down in the southern areas of the country is where the pigs would be. Ed Kee set it straight pork comes from Iowa. I also never assumed that Iowa was as impactful as it was in the agricultural industry. But, It is in almost the perfect area and they sure are taking full advantage of it as they grow 13% of the United States corn all by themselves. I also would have never thought that 9/11 would have really made a difference in the agricultural field at all. But, I think that this change was a good one as it helped kinda buffer fossil fuels to not be 100% in all fuels.
Mr. Ed Kee gave my class a lecture about Iowa and California agriculture. Iowa is an agricultural state which 85%of Iowa’s land mass is used for agriculture. 87,500 farmers in Iowa till 30.5 million acres. Most income of Iowa’s cash farm comes from corn, soybean, pork and beef. Iowa is the number one producer in corn and soybean. Iowa is the number one producer in hog as well. And it the nation’s leading producer of eggs. All those advantages are resulted in the fertile soils and comfort climate for crops in Iowa. Then, Mr. Kee talked to us about California-the nation’s leading state in cash farm receipts with 47 million dollars. And California ranks first in many commodities, such as milk & cream, almonds, grapes and tomatoes. 95% of U.S. tomato products come from California. But there are some issues in California, like the water issue due to the water quality the water cost more. In the meantime, some farm families own water rights dating over 100 years old, so, their water is less expensive.
2019 September 13th, Mr. Ed Kee came to our ARGI 130 class to talking about the Delaware Agriculture as a Food Shed for eastern United States. There is 41% of DE land area in farms and 20% of it are permanently preserved because of the Agland Preservation Program. It means that those land can and only can be used as farm land. And not only protect these lands from being developed by other non-agriculture industry, but also protect the young farmers in the future. A program called Young Farmers Program, it offers a 30-year, no interest loan to help young farmers purchase farmland. Some farms in the permanently preservation program can be provided to the young farmers. 1842 year, the first canning factory was built for canning oysters in winter. And soon, this new and advanced technology can be used in canning fresh vegetables and fruits in any time. Even though the innovative technology boosts up the yield in agriculture and, reduce the amount of repeated work which improve the life of farmer, there are some challenges for today agriculture. Farmers still get low feedback from their work and the growing population on the Earth make the burden more heavily.
Mrs. Michele delivered a helpful guest lecture about social media, developing a brand, and spotting fake news online. Of particular interest to me were her ideas on the potential uses of social media, and how it can tie in with a professional career. I agree with her about having a public, professional social media page for prospective employers to view, as well as a private page for friends to view. I also concurred with her assessment that not having social media or a presence online can be detrimental.
Her emphasis on the importance of developing a trustworthy and positive brand was also interesting to me. I agree that developing a positive brand that employers can take not of is essential to a professional career. Likewise, a negative image is likely to be looked down upon. Thus, it is essential to maintain a positive and professional brand, especially on social media.
It is so glad that Mrs. Georgie Cartanza was invited to came to our class to talk about the evolution of the poultry industry on Delmarva where produces 9.6% of national production. I learned many interesting things about the history of the poultry industry. For every 1 job in the poultry industry it creates 7 jobs in the community. It is quite different about farm between today and past in many aspects. Today poultry farms have automatic pan feeders, nipple drinkers, solid walled houses and so on. Those advanced technology improve the chicken life and save time and cost for the farmers. Chicken nowadays can grow more fast than the past, some people may think that it is because of the hormones and steroids. But that theory is false. There is improvements in genetics, nutrition, housing and technology which cause the achievement that chicken can grow up to 4,202 g in 56 days. It is so important to be mindful of the truth behind the information edited by social media. The information may be the one that they want people to know, not the truth.
On October 24th, 2018 we had guest speaker Mark Davis give us a lecture on the horse racing industry in Delaware. Before his lecture I already knew some information about the horse racing industry since my neighbors had horses that they raced in harness racing. I also have a friend from high school who does barrel racing. Even with this information that I had been exposed to it was only a little bit of the industry. Mark Davis went on to explain the industry in more detail on things I hadn’t heard about before. He started out by mentioning how the origins of modern horse racing began in the 12th century when English knights returned from the Crusades with swift Arabian horses. He also mentioned that the earliest records of racing were in England during the year 1530. He then went on to information about the current stats in the US for the industry. In the US there are 9.2 million horses which are used for racing, show, recreation, and other. He also mentioned a common misconception about raising horses. Most people think only the wealthy raise horses. It turns out that there are approximately 34% of horse owners who have a household income of less than $50,000 and 28% have an annual income of over $100,000. After this he mentioned information on Delaware and then different jobs in the industry. Some of the jobs in the industry are judges, investigators, veterinarians, and horseman. One thing I didn’t know was that you needed a license for harness racing.
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.
On October 22nd, 2018 we had a guest lecture by Dan Severson. He gave us a guest lecture on the livestock industry in Delaware. I found this lecture to be interesting since I’m from Delaware and have a lot of friends that raise livestock. I did find it interesting that Delaware ranks first in the U.S. in value of agriculture production per acre and number two in value per farm. Severson talked about data on beef, hogs, sheep, goats, poultry and dairy. He also mentioned that more than half of the farms are less than fifty acres. While talking about each livestock animal he talked about different kinds of production. He also went over different products for each livestock. For example, goats are used for meat and milk. The milk is used to make things like soap, ice cream, and Butterfinger Goat cheese Cheesecake. Another thing I found interesting is to be considered a farm it requires one to sell $1,000 of farm products a year. A lot of the other information I had heard about in other classes or from other guest lectures. He ended the lecture by talking about the future for the industry and mentioned a new technology which is robotic milking. In the end it was an interesting lecture filled with information on the livestock industry. Thank you, Dan Severson for giving us a guest lecture on the livestock industry in Delaware.
On October 17th, 2018 we had guest speakers Tracy Wootten and Valann Budischak talk about Delaware’s Green Industry and Horticulture. They started off the lecture by talking about the Green Industry and how in 2014 it came in at $21,774,000. The people that make up the Green Industry are producers, retailers, landscapers, land managers, golf courses, and suppliers. Within nursery production there are two types of horticultural crops that they grow. Floriculture crops are your bedding and garden plants and the other one is nursery crops such as broadleaf evergreens and deciduous shrubs. Within the industry is many ways that they are grown and sold. This varies from container planting to balled and burlapped. From here the plants are sold to either a retailer or directly to the consumer. Retailers help bridge the gap between people and horticulture plants by having displays with the plants in different designs. This allows people to see what they can do with them without being a plant expert. This is where Landscapers play a part in this industry. Landscapers have a vast knowledge of plants and perform task from designing a landscape to maintaining a landscape. This involves knowledge on mowing, invasive control, fertilization and plant identification. I found this to be an interesting lecture since I am a Landscape Horticulture and Design major. Thank you Tracy Wootten and Valann Budischak for being amazing guest speakers in are class.
On October 3rd In our AGRI130 had guest speaker James Adkins came in and gave our class a lecture about irrigation and the benefits and disadvantages that can come with having irrigation. In his lecture he covered a wide range of different types of irrigation systems there are from center pivots to traveling guns to flood irrigation. The thing that interested me the most was that only a small portion of the world is irrigated and those farms with that irrigation produce the majority of the crops and food the world needs. An from just riding around here down in Sussex county all you see is irrigation in the field for crops like your corn to you sod company’s that just need it to irrigate there grass for there customers. An then most of the place the use irrigation are going to may be likely to run out of water because the aquifers wont last forever.
On Wednesday October 3rd, 2018 we had a guest lecture from James Adkins. James gave a guest lecture on agricultural irrigation. Throughout the lecture there was a lot of facts that most people wouldn’t know unless they were informed in this field through research or as a career. Like one interesting fact is that 20% of the world’s farmland is irrigated but it only produces 40% of our food supply. I was aware of the changes of irrigation over the years since I have noticed these changes in different classes and I had shadowed an employee at UD’s Cooperative Extension office in Georgetown before my freshman year and got to see different types of irrigation there. Another thing I learned is that globally, 15-35% of irrigation withdrawals are estimated to be unsustainable. This is going to become a huge problem in the future with our growing population. In the end I found this to be a very informative guest lecture and learned a lot about issues we are going to face in the future with irrigation.