By Carol Kinsley

Agriculture is one of the most thriving industries in Delaware. Delaware Farm Bureau is helping to keep it that way, and its members would like you to join them.

“Our mission is to promote and protect Delaware agriculture through education and advocacy to ensure a quality of life for farmers, their families and their consumers,” said Bill Powers, Delaware Farm Bureau President. 

According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, there are approximately 2,300 farms in Delaware, growing food and fiber on 530,000 acres of land. Agriculture accounts for some 69,000 jobs in the state, amounting to $10.3 billion in economic activity.

In the 80 years since its founding, Delaware Farm Bureau has become one of the strongest farm organizations in the First State. Delaware Farm Bureau is a non-profit and nongovernmental organization that serves as a unified voice for farmers in Delaware. It is part of a national organization of some six million farmers united for the purpose of preserving agriculture as an industry and way of life. Farm Bureau is their vehicle to accomplish this.

Delaware Farm Bureau is politically active, but nonpartisan. On both the local and national front, Farm Bureau has defended agriculture against unreasonable taxes and regulations, threats to property rights and damaging misconceptions about farming.

Delaware Farm Bureau offers various programs that encourage students to get involved in agriculture, from elementary school age through college. Thanks to a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, elementary school teachers may apply for a free crate of hands-on activities, lesson plans and other supplies by simply visiting https://defb.org/specialty-crop-crates/ and completing the application form before June 30, 2024. The Blue Jacket Bonanza Program provides high school students involved in the FFA a chance to earn their own blue jacket. FFA members and 4-Hers can participate in a Rate of Gain competition while raising animals to show at the State Fair. Delaware Farm Bureau also participates in the 4-H Livestock Auction at the Fair. Several college scholarships are offered. And, the Delaware Farm Bureau offers a Summer Internship Program that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work within the agricultural industry and see what it has to offer.

Delaware Farm Bureau is active in the community. The annual Milk Run raises money to benefit the Ministry of Caring, Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation. Food drives are held throughout the year and the Women’s Committee annually supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

An annual Safety Conference promotes safety on the farm and on the road. Delaware Farm Bureau is also working to make mental health resources accessible to members and the public.

There are three categories of membership: 

“Regular” members who are involved in farming and own or lease farmland;

“Professionally engaged” members who support the agriculture industry through their profession/career; and

“Farm community” members, individuals who are not farmers but recognize value to the community and their family of supporting vibrant agriculture and Delaware’s farmers.

Even though less than two percent of the population today has ties to agriculture, we all eat and we can support farmers and what they stand for. For just $65 a year, you will receive exclusive benefits and special discounts on various products and services, including financial benefits, prescription and health care savings, savings on equipment, vehicles, energy services, supplies, travel and rental vehicles. 

To join, or to see the full list of membership benefits, visit www.defb.org.

The Delaware Farm Bureau office is at 3457 S. DuPont Highway in Camden; telephone 302-697-3183.