Wednesday, September 26th, Ed Kee spoke to AGRI130 students about agriculture in Iowa and California and why they are considered agricultural giants. In Iowa, 85% of the land mass is used for agricultural purposes. To put in perspective how much land that is, Iowa tills about 30.5 million acres while Delaware tills about 490,000 acres. That amount of land specifically used for agricultural purposes in Iowa is crazy! In addition Iowa is the number one producer in corn, soybean, hog and egg production. Therefore it makes sense that 92% of Iowa’s cash flow comes from the above products plus beef production. A big reason why Iowa is able to produce so much is because of how fertile the land is and how plentiful the rainfall is. On the other side there is California that receives less rainfall than average. However, due to the insufficient rainfall (only 10 inches a year, except on the coast) there is a lack of humidity that makes growing vegetables an easy task and helps decrease disease in crops. This state is a agricultural giant because they rank number one in numerous vegetables (i.e tomatoes), nuts and fruits. The new technology farmers now use to better irrigate their fields is amazing in regards to how much more efficient the process is and the resulting increase in crops per acre.
Overall, Ed Kee’s lecture was extremely informative about how much the U.S. relies on the agriculture industry in both Iowa and California. If one were to fall there would be major ripple effects throughout the industry nationwide and possibly worldwide.
On Wednesday September 26th, 2018 we had another guest lecture from Ed Kee this time on Iowa and California agriculture. It was really interesting to learn about what other states are good at growing and the different variables that they have to deal with. I already knew that California had a water problem since it was talked about a lot in the news about their drought they were in. I was surprised to learn that the way they water their crops are by using aqueducts. I have never seen or heard of this practice since I have only been on the east coast of the US. I also found it interesting that California produces 95% of tomatoes that are used for tomato products. This makes these aqueducts very important since California is ranked first in the production of tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce and a few more crops. It was also interesting to learn more about Iowa. I knew they had a good soil structure from some of my previous classes in soil science where we had talked about the difference in soil types of the US. I was surprised that they only receive 24-36 inches of rainfall but due to the water holding capacity of the soil this isn’t an issue for farmers. I also found it interesting that they produce 25% of the nation’s ethanol. It was a very interesting speech from Ed Kee and it allowed me to learn more about California and Iowa’s agriculture. It made me more aware of the differences in challenges that each area faces and what each area is good at due to soil structure and weather.
On Monday September 17th, 2018 we had guest speaker in AGRI 130 who talked about Delaware as a “FoodShed”. One of the major driving forces for Delaware’s agriculture industry is how close it is to people. Delaware is within 1/3 of the US population within an eight hour drive. This was something that Ed Kee kept mentioning during his speech as he went over the history of Delaware’s agriculture industry. Some of the things that helped the ag industry grow during the 1800’s was the railroad system which stimulated an agricultural economy, the canning industry in which the first one was in Dover, DE which allowed for an increase in the distance that products could go creating new markets and boats which further increased transportation. Ed Kee also mentioned advances in science since 1945. Some of these advances are genetics, irrigation, soil fertility, pest management (insects and diseases) and precision Agriculture. Each of these things have allowed for farmers to produce more and to feed more people. Something I found interesting is that the Mitchell Family who owns Woodside Dairy in Delaware is going to have a robotic milking machine. The machine will milk cows when they come to it to get milked and will tell the farmer how much milk the cow is producing. Another thing I found interesting is that by 2050 there is expected to be 9.3 billion people which means that global agriculture will need to increase production up to 70% of what it is now.
During Michele’s presentation about Making Social Media Work for Agriculture, for your Career and Brand, she discussed a lot of vital points that may not come across many individuals minds as they post on multiple forms of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. The first point that really stood out in her presentation was “Due diligence” because it means being held responsible for one’s own social media posts and is important to keep business professional with the occasional cute kitten video because possible employers will look at social media accounts in the process of hiring. Additionally, using a consistent picture for all social media accounts demonstrates the sense of control over what you make available to the online public and creates a brand- for marketing yourself to those who view your profile.
Speaking about creating a brand and marketing yourself, specific forms of social media such as LinkedIn and Indeed.com are two forms in which people can offer insight into the skills they are able to perform for employers looking to hire workers. Additionally, through LinkedIn, employers can find people to hire better because the site automatically directs the employer to accounts that match the skills that they are interested in. Not to mention the importance of keeping all photos on business and personal accounts of social media appropriate at all times. If an employer had to choose between someone in a party picture with a red solo cup or a well dressed business attire, they would most likely go for the business attire because it is more professional. Overall, Michele’s presentation was refreshing and insightful because I personally use over four forms of social media and its always to keep these factors in mind before I post.