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Delaware legislators took the time recently to hear concerns from local farmers as the legislative session rolls on in the First State.

The Delaware Farm Bureau, DEFB, held breakfast events in all three Delaware counties and a luncheon at Legislative Hall in Dover in hopes of reaching each legislator to help share the story of agriculture.

“It’s very important that we have the chance to talk with our legislators and encourage them to learn more about what we do day in and day out,” DEFB Executive Director Don Clifton said. “Our farmer members were able to share their needs and concerns during the breakfast events, and to thank the legislators for previous actions that benefited our agriculture industry. The luncheon was a great opportunity to celebrate National Ag Day and share that with even more legislators and their staff.”

Topics of concern at each of the breakfast events included crop damage from unmanaged deer populations, solar farms and international concerns, among other issues. Stephanie Knutsen of G&S Dairy Farm in Harrington also took the opportunity to speak about raw milk and help dispel any fears while sharing data and personal experiences with the groups.

“We know there’s a bill coming about raw milk; it’s consumer driven. We want to make sure our legislators have the data they need to make informed decisions about raw milk which, of course, would come directly from our farmers,” Clifton said.

Senator Eric Buckson attended the breakfast event in Kent County and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet with farmers in this way.

“We, as legislators, are not doing our best job if we’re not discussing the impact of our work with the people it affects. Opportunities like these are very important,” he said during the event held at the Hollywood Diner.

The luncheon at Legislative Hall proved just as impactful as DEFB staffers and volunteers, 4-H members and FFA students spoke with legislators and their staff over farm fresh ingredients prepared by Main Street Market in Smyrna.

“It’s important to let the legislators know that Delaware’s number one industry is agriculture and the best way to do that is to feed them food from Delaware,” DEFB member Jackie King said.

Kyle Kerr, president of the Delaware 4-H Teen Council, and Ainsley West, 4-H Teen Council state secretary, said the chance to support DEFB and meet with legislators helps further their mission and helps the students gain important, long-lasting experiences, too.

“It gives us a way to make connections and help out the Farm Bureau. I love these kinds of events because I get to meet the legislators who will help us out down the line,” Kerr said.

West said she would like to emphasize to lawmakers just “how big and diverse the agricultural industry is in Delaware. There’s a broad spectrum and everybody is very supportive.”

For more on the Delaware Farm Bureau or to learn how to get involved, visit

Post Author: Mikayla Paul

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