Ag award shines positive light on Delaware
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ― Muhammad Ali
In the western part of Sussex County, five generations of the Vincent family have been successfully farming for many decades. The food they produce on 3,000 acres, such as melons and vegetables that go directly to people through a wide variety of grocery stores, and grains that feed poultry operations, provides fresh sustenance to the great northeastern megalopolis stretching from Richmond north to Boston. It’s an amazing market that the Vincent family – and thousands of other farmers in the region – takes advantage of. But it’s not just taking.
Vincent family members and all of their employees were recently presented with the 2021 Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture, given by the state’s Department of Agriculture. The Vincent operation was singled out for its participation in a federal program that provides fresh food to families throughout the region, many of whom found themselves unemployed and facing hard times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Farmers to Families Food Box Program provided thousands of boxes of fresh food to food banks and other outlets to help keep people fed. “Being a part of this program was extremely rewarding for us as a family and for our business, to know that we were making a difference,” said Ray Vincent.
The initiative also shone a light on the importance of agriculture to Delaware and the unique opportunities available here because of the state’s strategic location.
“While many people like to go away to school and there are opportunities elsewhere, there are many opportunities right here in Delaware between the grain industry, the poultry industry, and the vegetable industry,” Vincent said.
“We are fortunate to be able to grow just about anything here that farmers can grow elsewhere in the country, and we are so close to the markets that there are so many opportunities for young people to get into agriculture and, ultimately, to help feed the world.”
This all bodes well for the future of both Delaware and the nation.