DE Ag Newsflash

Here’s a quick newsflash from the world of DE agriculture for you:

  • Mark Rieger has accepted UD’s offer to become the next Dean of the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. I’m sure an official announcement will come soon. Until then, you can find out more about him on the “Official Dean Search” website page (I was personally impressed with his letter; however, you cannot access the video). You can also see the members of the search committee on this site (along right hand side).
  • There is a Senate Agriculture Committee meeting at Legislative Hall coming up on June 6 at 3pm. Previously mentioned bills regarding the Nutrient Management Commission (HB 286) and pesticide sales (HB 321) are on the agenda. Check this website for updates (times and meeting rooms change often!). Primary sponsors of these bills are both Republican; Rep. Dave Wilson and Rep. Harvey Kenton respectively, both from the Milford area.
  • In the poultry world, there’s a newly named President & CEO for Mountaire Farms, Inc. His name is Paul Downes and he most recently served as COO (Chief Operations Officer). See more here.
  • The longtime Vlasic pickle factory in Millsboro, DE  announced it’s closing this week. Not only will DE lose close to 300 jobs (150 full-time, 150 seasonal) but approximately 20 Eastern Shore farmers will have to decide whether to continue growing cucumbers. This plant opened in 1972, changed owners several times over the years, and apparently considered closing in 2010. However, a DE economic development grant of $90, 000 kept them open. Two years later, not the case. Michigan’s economic development office and union won the battle, which is where it will consolidate its pickle production. See the DE News Journal article here.
  • Have you visited a local farmer’s market yet? Many are opening statewide, including a new one slated for the Smyrna, DE area. I will blog more about this soon. In the meantime, see this Farmer’s Market Directory, offered by the DE Dept. of Ag. The strawberry season in DE has pretty much come to a close but broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green and yellow squash, and blueberries are soon to come!
  • Speaking of which, have you seen the new DE Dept. of Ag website? It has a new, fresh look and it’s about time!!! Take a peek here: http://dda.delaware.gov/

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