All within one event, several chapters came to an end this past Friday, March 16th:
- A breakfast series, called “Friends of Agriculture”, sponsored by the University of DE Cooperative Extension. For several years, anyone from the community could come “listen and learn” to ag oriented speakers at early morning breakfast meetings. Previous speakers have been Governor Jack Markell, Senator Tom Carper, and the most recent presenter: DE Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Ed Kee. The title of the presentation was, “Brazil’s Ag-to the Horizon”. The Secretary toured the country with 18 Delaware farmers to experience Brazilian agriculture first hand. The take-away? Brazilian farmers are good at what they do; ranking 5th in the world in grain production. However, they are grappling with transportation, preservation, and regulatory pressures. Much more so than American farmers. The Secretary concluded with this statement: “The Delaware and American Family Farm System is the world’s best ag system and we will continue to compete and thrive!”
- The moderator for the series: Dr. Jan Seitz. She is the Director of Cooperative Extension and is retiring as of next month. She promises to remain a Delawarean in retirement and from what I understand, she has initiated a scholarship fund with the DE Community Foundation for in state students. She’s a strong advocate for Delaware agriculture, extension, and 4-Her’s!
- The main supporter of the series: Dean Robin Morgan. She is the current head of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources but also is retiring at the end of this academic year (May or June?). Her replacement has not been selected or announced as of yet but I’m guessing the announcement will come soon.
All of these good things are coming to an end. The continuation of the breakfast series will be up to the new Dean but perhaps it is time to revamp the series? I hope to broach the topic with some of the boards I serve on. Youth involvement or some sponsorships could make it happen. Let me know if you have any ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.