100 participants raised money for needy children in Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation’s 5K Milk Run/Walk


Sixty-nine runners and 31 walkers participated in Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation’s sixth annual 5K Milk Run/Walk on May 11. The goal was to raise a combined $10,000 for the Ministry of Caring’s “Milk for Children Fund” and the Delaware Food Bank for its “Delaware Backpack Program” which provides food for at-risk children on days when federal school meal programs are not available.

The Milk Run was held in a new location this year, with participants setting out from the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings across from the Blue Hen Corporate Center in Dover. They traversed the flat, scenic rural landscape of the St. Jones Isaac Branch Trail. The trail is paved, which made it perfect for parents with strollers.

Silas Klair, 4-year-old son of Shay and Erik Klair of Hockessin, won the Kiddie K race for youth 10 and under by a shoe in a neck-in-neck finish, with Brant Bobola, son of Teddy and Rebecca Bobola coming in second.

Andrew Jakubowitch of Dover was the first male to cross the finish line, clocking in at 17 minutes and 33 seconds. Second was Logan Dunn of Camden at 18:24. The first female was Erin Jakubowitch with a time of 20:34.

This was a TriSports “sanctioned race.” All participants received a quality 2019 Milk Run 5K Run/Walk Per

formance Tech Shirt and top finishers in several age categories won awards.

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Primus Poppiti finished the 5K in less than 30 minutes, dressed as a Holstein cow.

Since its conception by the New Castle County Farm Bureau, the Milk Run has been able to contribute nearly $73,000 to the Ministry of Caring and the Middletown Neighborhood House. The effort was begun seven years ago when Scott Unruh, then president of the New Castle County Farm Bureau, attended a Ministry of Caring event where he learned that the Ministry had lost its funding to purchase milk for the morning program for children due to a bank merger. The deficit was $10,000. Unruh’s reaction was that Farm Bureau should figure out how to make up the deficit. What better cause for a Farm Bureau than to help provide milk for hungry children?


Under his leadership, New Castle County Farm Bureau took on the challenge with the help of the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation. The next NCCFB president, Stewart Ramsey, continued the endeavor.


Kaylee Dulin, Delaware Dairy Princess and Janet Mitchell of Woodside Farm Creamery, pose for a picture with their ice cream in the Woodside Farm Creamery truck.

“It was a team effort,” Ramsey said. “We exceeded our goal of $10,000 the first year and in later years

added the Middletown Neighborhood House. The board wanted to impact more people. It’s now a statewide program.”


Ramsey and Janet and Jim Mitchell of Woodside Farm Creamery were honored at the Ministry of Caring’s Recognition Banquet where they received “The Caring Bowl of 2019” which honors those who have given generously of their time, talent and treasure in dedicated service to the poor over many years.

Sponsors donating $500 or more for this year’s race were Dairy Farmers of America, Delaware Department of Ag, Delaware Electric Cooperative, Dempsey Farms, Farm Credit, Fulton Bank, George Clay & Sons Inc., Hoober Inc., HyPoint Dairy, Land O’Lakes, New Castle County Council, New Castle County Farm Bureau, Saul Ewing LLP, Syngenta, and Woodside Farm Creamery.


Delaware Farm Bureau hosts legislative breakfasts in Kent, Sussex counties

Delaware Farm Bureau recently hosted two legislative breakfasts to provide officers and members of its legislative committee an opportunity to discuss their concerns with members of Delaware’s General Assembly.

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Attending the breakfast at Countrie Eatery in Dover were, clockwise from left, Rep. William Bush, vice-chair of the House Ag Committee; William “Bill” Powers, DFB second vice president; Sen. Bruce Ennis, chair, Senate Ag Committee; Rep. Jeffrey Spiegelman; Teddy Bobola, chair DFB Young Farmers & Ranchers; Ted Bobola, DFB Legislative Committee; Past DFB President Kitty Holtz; DFB President Richard Wilkins; Laura Hill, first vice president DFB; Joseph Poppiti, DFB executive director; Jacob Urian, Kent County FB president; Rep. Lyndon Yearick; Bentley Blessing, DFB Legislative Committee; Stewart Ramsey, New Castle County FB president; Rep. Charles Postles Jr.; R.C. Willin, DFB Legislative Committee, and Rep. William Carson, chair, House Ag Committee.


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Attending the Sussex County event at the Stargate Restaurant in Seaford were, from far left clockwise: DFB President Richard Wilkins: Barbara Sapp, DFB Women’s Committee; Connie Fox and Bentley Blessing, DFB Legislative Committee; Rep. Ronald Gray; Past DFB President Kitty Holtz; Rep. Daniel Short; R.C. Willin, DFB Legislative Committee; Rep. Timothy Dukes; DFB Executive Director Joseph Poppiti; Rep. Jesse Vanderwende; Dale Phillips, Sussex County FB president; Alan Bailey, DFB Legislative Committee; Guy Phillips, Sussex County FB member; Rep. Ruth Briggs King; Senators David Wilson, Brian Pettyjohn and Bryant Richardson; and Laura Hill, DFB first vice president.


New Castle County events are scheduled for Friday, March 29th and Friday, April 5th.

Meet Your Farmer: Dale and Kathy Phillips

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Dale Phillips is a third-generation poultry grower on Gravel Hill Farm in Georgetown. His grandfather, Harold Short, now deceased, started raising poultry in 1951. Phillips took over for him in 2005 and has since replaced the original chicken houses with two new structures with a total capacity of 60,000 birds. Phillips grows for Allen-Harim.

He and his father, Guy Phillips, work together, although each has his own operation. Each has two poultry houses. They grow corn and soybeans in addition to poultry.

“I’ve been farming since I came back in 2005,” Phillips said. “When I got out of school, I worked off the farm for a little while, but farming is what I’ve always wanted to do. When Pop-Pop quit raising chickens, I took over.”

Phillips joined Delaware Farm Bureau in 2006. His father has been vice president, then president of Sussex County Farm Bureau. Phillips has been Sussex County Young Farmers and Ranchers chair and state chair. He is currently serving as Sussex County Farm Bureau president.


His wife, Kathy, works at the University of Delaware Lasher Laboratory, the primary poultry diagnostic lab in the state of Delaware. Located in Georgetown, the lab provides rapid and comprehensive services to commercial poultry producers as well as to the owners of small, non-commercial hobby and backyard flocks.

The couple were honored as “Outstanding Growers” by Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. in 2017. They have two daughters, Ruby and Emily, who are in middle school.

Carper, Wilkins highlight impacts of trade war

wilkins in DC 2019U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Richard Wilkins, president of the Delaware Farm Bureau, joined a bipartisan group of senators and business owners in Washington on Feb. 6 to discuss the negative impacts of President Trump’s trade policies on Delaware and the nation’s agricultural community.

Carper said, “In Delaware, shipments of steel and aluminum are the fourth largest import cargo arriving at the Port of Wilmington. And while we may be a small state, Delaware has the highest value of agricultural products produced per acre in the country. Haphazardly slapping tariffs on these foreign products has senselessly put Delaware’s economy, soybean farmers and manufacturers in the crosshairs of a trade war where everyone loses… I’m hopeful that with senators from both sides of the aisle speaking up, we can prevent further damage from being done. It’s time for the President to start putting America first.”

Wilkins talked about the effect of the tariffs on his own operation:

“Last year, when the tariffs were placed on steel and aluminum imports into this country, our trading partners retaliated by placing tariffs on U.S. goods, including soybeans, going into China. That started a slide in the value of one of the commodities that I produce – soybeans — of more than 20 percent.

“China is buying dramatically fewer soybeans from the United States. They are not only seeking supplies from other nations, they also discovered they do not need as much soy meal in livestock rations as they once were. They will look for alternative proteins. That has long term implications. If they discover they do not need a high inclusion rate of soybean in their rations, we will never get that demand back again.

“Last year we produced over 4 billion bushels of soybeans in the United States. Today the carryout is projected to be nearly 1 billion bushels. So 20 to 25 percent of last year’s crop will still be sitting in silos and storage bins when we begin harvesting this year’s crop.

“This burdensome excess supply will hurt the prices of our commodities for the next several years to come. It will create permanent damage with the trading relationships we have built in overseas markets.”

Wilkins urged the legislators: “Please rescind these tariffs today.”

Meet Your Farmer: Jacob and Melissa Urian


Jacob Urian, age 34, is a good example of today’s young farmer in Delaware. Well-educated, he has been a conservation planner at Kent Conservation District in Dover for more than six years. He is a Certified Crop Advisor, nutrient management consultant and certified pesticide applicator.

Urian and his wife, Melissa, live in a house on the home farm in Clayton where he currently farms part-time with his parents. They grow corn, soybeans and hay and raise beef cattle. For the past couple of years, Urian also has been farming on his own, producing the same crops as he father and growing black Angus cattle.

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Melissa is employed as a pharmacist at Atlantic Apothecary in Smyrna.

Urian has been a Farm Bureau member for about nine years. He was elected Kent County Farm Bureau president after the former president, Richard Wilkins, became state president. Urian has served as chairman of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee the last three years. His replacement as YF&R chair will be elected in February. Under his leadership, the YF&R has continued to participate in the strawberry festival, tractor pull and Dover Days parade. This year the group also volunteered to help with as King Crop Insurance and Allen Chorman jointly celebrated their 50th anniversaries.Jacob.jpg

The YF&R has also moved toward ag advocacy, in addition to training leaders and encouraging farmers to get more involved. “We have gone to elementary schools on Super Science Day and read the American Farm Bureau’s Book of the Year to the students. We are spreading awareness of the importance of agriculture in our community,” he said.


Bayer Crop Science sponsoring Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation outreach

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Director of Industry Affairs, Doug Rushing meets with DFB President Richard Wilkins at the 2019 AFBF annual convention.

Delaware Farm Bureau President Richard Wilkins, right, met with Doug Rushing, director of industry affairs for Bayer Crop Science at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in January. Wilkins was able to personally thank Rushing for Bayer’s sponsorship in the amount of $3,000 to be used by the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation in an educational outreach program. Through the program, farmers will tell stories of how local Delaware farm families are utilizing science and technology to provide safe, affordable and nutritious foods to consumers.

Bayer’s Crop Science division is the third largest innovative agricultural input company in the world and has businesses in high-value seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control.

The non-profit Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation, incorporated in 2013, was created to build awareness, understanding and positive public perception about Delaware’s farm operations, promote fresh local food and sponsor the Ag Education Mobile Classroom. To learn more, visit http://www.defb.org.

Mental Health First Aid Training sessions available in March, April

As in many states, Delaware’s agriculture community is facing many stressors. People who are in a position to consult and help need to know what stress, addiction and/or mental health disorders look like. Farm family members also need to know how best to help their loved ones.

To help meet this need, Mental Health First Aid Training sessions have been scheduled in Dover and Newark, with a third session in Sussex County in the works.

By attending this training, you will be better prepared to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, you’ll learn concrete tools and answers to key questions, such as “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?”

The Mental Health First Aid training is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and outlines common ways to help and find support.

These eight-hour courses use interactive educational methods to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and will help you connect to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.

The program teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use and others. The Mental Health First Aid training is an Evidence-based Program, which means that studies show it has been effective in meeting its desired outcomes.

A Certified Mental Health First Aid instructor from the Delaware Mental Health Association will conduct the training and provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to complement the course material.

The training is being underwritten from generous support from the Sustainable Coastal Communities project, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Mental Health Association. In Sussex County, Beebe Hospital is also providing support. A light lunch and snacks will be provided.

The first session will be held on March 8, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 S. Dupont Highway in Dover. The second will be held April 8, also from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark.

Seats are limited. Click here for registration form.