Documentary focuses on Delaware’s farmers

As the Delaware State Fair gets underway in Harrington, the latest film from the Hearts and Minds film initiative, “Delaware Agriculture: Farming the First State,” will air as part of a special edition of First on WHYY this Friday at 5:30 and 11 p.m.

$1.2 billion.

That’s the amount of sales activity created by Delaware agriculture.  State Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee says the true economic impact of farming in Delaware is seven or eight times that amount.  “I see Delaware as a food-shed for the eastern United States,” Kee says in the documentary produced by Teleduction.  Kee says Delaware’s farmers benefit from the state’s central location in relation to major population centers. 

The film features farms from up and down the state, from the 75-acre Woodside Farm Creamery that’s been in the same family since 1796 to DMC Farms in Laurel where watermelons are shipped to cities throughout the Northeast.  

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Those farmers have been able to take advantage of Delaware’s generally good soil.  “About 40% of our landmass remains in farms,” Kee says.  He says the best way to preserve farmland in Delaware is to make sure Delaware’s farms are profitable.  “I think public policy that maintains farms and farm profitability is really important to our food security and to good nutrition.”

The documentary was produced with support from Delaware Humanities Forum and the Delaware State Department of Agriculture.  It will air on WHYY Friday night at 5:30 and 11 p.m.

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