Who knew that on horticultural product sales alone Delaware’s Green Industry brought in over 21.7 million dollars. Horticulture is the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and any other plant life. Unlike agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale crop production or animal husbandry. Tracy Wootten and Valann Budischak delivered a beautiful presentation on Delaware’s Green Industry. They captured our attention with a variety of pictures and laid out their information filled lecture in a way that was easy to follow along. Throughout the lecture they went into depth about what and who the green industry consists of; producers, retailers, landscapers, golf courses and suppliers. After learning about the different aspects of Delaware’s Green Industry, Ms. Wootten and Ms. Budischak spoke to us about a couple of organizations that Delaware is a part of. Their goal is to educate horticultural related businesses as well as homeowners to promote the use of products in the green industry, enhance the quality of those products and to protect the environment.
Before this lecture I didn’t realize how much our state is involved in managing and improving the area around us. The next time you’re on the highway, look at the grassy median, most likely there have been specific flowers planted to enhance the sides of roadways and to bring some of the native plants back to Delaware! Horticulture never meant a lot to me before this lecture but after hearing Ms. Wootten and Ms. Budischak speak I have a new-found appreciation and respect for all the work that goes into this industry, it’s not all roses and daffodils!
Tracy Wootten and Valann Budischak did a fantastic job during their lecture on “Delaware’s Green Industry” and everything associated with it. Like I have said in previous posts, I am a Plant Science major, and it’s always a great day when we get a chance to break through in Agriculture, rather than livestock always having the spotlight. I thought it was great that Tracy and Valann kind of defined what the Green Industry included, especially job wise, so that if this is something you really liked, you could see that there are lots of jobs for many different things. I liked that State Parks and land management was included because I have completed internships with State Parks and want to continue working with them once out of college. They also mentioned nursery and floriculture production, which is what I originally came to the University of Delaware for, so it was good knowing I was not too far off track.
Before our lecture by Ms. Wootten and Ms. Budischak, I had never considered gardening or landscaping to be a part of agriculture. Many people may consider their only involvement in agriculture to take place in the grocery store, however our roles in a branch of agriculture known as the Green Industry are in closer proximity than we may realize (in fact, right in our backyards!). Based on what and how a person plants and landscapes, his or her backyard can not only look great, but also support the local ecosystem and environment. Simply planting one oak tree can support up to 534 different species of butterflies and moths, which in turn supports the avian population in the area and then extends further up the food chain.
The University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension department and Botanic Gardens staff work towards educating both students and the community about facts to better develop our land and plants/crops. The Green Industry includes producers, retailers, landscapers, land managers, golf courses, and suppliers. Each aspect of this industry plays an important role in sustaining our environment and also helping it to look great, too!