Delaware Valley University Hosts Stakeholder Meeting, Discusses Animal Agriculture in Commonwealth


Image via Delaware Valley University
The university hosted the event to keep stakeholders and students up to date on important topics.

Delaware Valley University recently hosted a stakeholder meeting that covered agriculture throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

The university hosted the meeting, titled “Assessing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to Animal Agriculture in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” on Oct 11. The event was facilitated by Dr. Chris Gambino, assistant professor of animal science and co-director of Food Systems Institute, and funded by the Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence, Pennsylvania.

At the event, students and stakeholders from around the state, including farmers, producers, and government workers, brought their experiences and expertise to assess the sector’s coming opportunities and threats in the next five years.

The event included two working sessions. The first, took an external approach to assess the state’s animal agriculture sector.

“In this session, we discussed what forces are impacting animal agriculture and the threats and opportunities associated,” explained university student Casey Rotenberger, ’23.

The second working session involved an internal approach, examining the agriculture industry, specifically animal agriculture, and where improvements can be made on existing strategies to strive for further excellence.

“I learned a lot of the reasons why agriculture professionals feel they’re being restricted,” said Rotenberger.

“It’s because of age gaps, time, and money. For example, I think it’s really important to make permitting and land access more accessible. Another thing is education, which is something I already knew about and am active in. At the meeting, we discussed the importance of education to animal agriculture’s future, including consumer education, workforce education, and farmer education so that we can collectively design sensible policies.”

“It was awesome getting to casually network with such important stakeholders, definitely a neat opportunity,” said university student Madison Osatchuck, ’23, who was excited to receive business cards from four professionals at the event.

In addition to networking and discussing opportunities for the state’s animal agriculture sector, the meeting included brunch and lunch featuring crops and ingredients from the university’s campus, which was organized by it’s dining department, Parkhurst Dining.

Parkhurst’s General Manager, Jen Rodolfo, Catering Supervisor, Rachel Andersen, and Executive Chef, Gerald Hunter, worked closely with Dr. Gambino to create a local and seasonal fare. Menu items included roasted corn and tomato quiche and pork tenderloin with apple chutney, root vegetable gratin, and a cherry reduction. The eggs came from DelVal’s Roth Farm, the apples from the campus orchard and the pork from Hatfield Meats. Stakeholders were delighted to get a taste of DelVal’s harvest, grown by students and staff.

Learn more about the recent meeting at Delaware Valley University.

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