April 16: Agriculture's past and future

UD to host viewing of new documentary showcasing Delaware agriculture

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6:27 p.m., April 3, 2013--From early settlers to modern satellite systems, the history and future of Delaware agriculture are highlighted in a new documentary sponsored by the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) and the Delaware Humanities Forum.

Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) fraternity will partner with the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) to host a public showing of the film at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, in Multipurpose Rooms A/B of the Trabant University Center.  UD students, faculty and the public are invited to attend. 

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The 30-minute film, Delaware Agriculture: Farming in the First State, introduces viewers to the history of the state’s agricultural industry and the depth and breadth of modern-day farming. It features decades of historic photographs and new interviews with six Delaware farmers and footage of their apple orchards, grain farms, poultry operations and more.

“Farming in Delaware has a long and proud history, matched only by the strength and success of our farmers today,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, an agricultural historian and UD alumnus who narrates the film. “This documentary will help introduce Delaware residents to their farmers and neighbors next door, building awareness about the contributions and challenges of agriculture today.”

After the film, several Delaware farmers will discuss the future of Delaware agriculture in a panel moderated by Kee, joined by Mark Rieger, CANR dean. Speaking will be

  • Jim Mitchell, Hockessin, dairy farmer and owner of Woodside Creamery;
  • Larry Jester, Middletown, grain producer; and
  • Georgiana Cartanza, Dover, poultry producer.

The film was created and produced by Wilmington-based TELEDUCTION and its nonprofit initiative, Hearts and Minds Film. The Delaware Farm Bureau and MidAtlantic Farm Credit also provided support.

It features farmers Stanley C. West of Milford, a lima bean grower; Jim and Janet Mitchell of Woodside Farm Creamery, Hockessin; Curt Fifer of Fifer Orchards, Camden-Wyoming; Charlie Smith of T.S. Smith and Sons, Bridgeville; Mark Collins of DMC Farms, Laurel, a watermelon grower; Charles Postles of Milford, a poultry farmer; Larry and Mike Jester of Jester Farms, grain farmers from Middletown; and Brandon and Ashley Bonk of Wheel of Fortune Farm, Leipsic.

It also highlights historic images from the Delaware Public Archives and footage from the Historic Lewes Farmers’ Market, the Delaware State Fair and the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village.

“The video shows the history and the very diverse agriculture systems in the state. It highlights many broad issues concerning Delaware agriculture as well as highlighting the powerhouse that Delaware is regarding its agriculture industries,” said Shaw Civitarese, AGR brother. “We hope that the UD community and other Delawareans will join us and connect their food to their farmers.”

For more information about the film, visit the Delaware Department of Agriculture website

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University of Delaware • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: (302) 831-2792 • © 2013
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