Growing First State agricultural opportunity celebrated at Delaware State Fair

Photos from today’s event are available on Flickr.

HARRINGTON – Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Perdue Farms Chairman & CEO Jim Perdue, and DuPont Pioneer representatives celebrated a venture today that is increasing economic opportunity for Delaware farmers and creating healthier foods for consumers.

In remarks at the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Education Building at the Delaware State Fair, officials and company executives shared the successes and plans for future growth of DuPont Pioneer’s Plenish brand high-oleic soybean oil, a soy-based trans fat-free alternative for food companies and for foodservice operators. Plans call for Perdue AgriBusiness to grow more beans for DuPont’s oil, partly by contracting with Delaware growers to produce 40,000 acres of high-oleic soybeans within five years, up from 6,000 acres today.

“Delaware’s strong agriculture industry has been built on great innovations and the hard work of our state’s farmers,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Today we recognize an initiative that epitomizes both. We are thrilled to celebrate a partnership in which great Delaware companies are working with our farmers to drive an incredible advance in agricultural technology and improve the health of people across the country.”

“Agriculture is the oldest science – the science of the soil,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “Today, the latest scientific advancements in the laboratory help farmers in the field, producing more and better-quality products to feed our families. Science has increased crop yields and protected our food from pests and disease, and it will keep agriculture strong in the future.”

Visitors to DDA’s Education Building at the State Fair on Thursday also enjoyed chicken samples prepared with Plenish oil, prepared by Perdue Chef Chris Moyer.

“Delaware has long been a second home to Perdue Farms. Delaware understands the importance of its agricultural economy, and the importance of keeping family farms viable,” said Jim Perdue, chairman and CEO of Perdue Farms. “Through Perdue AgriBusiness, we partnered with Delaware’s own DuPont Pioneer seed company to increase demand for locally grown soybeans. We built a state-of-the-art seed processing facility in Bridgeville, which started serving farmers this recent planting season.”

“We are excited to expand acres and bring the Plenish soybean opportunity to additional growers,” said Chris Scuse, account manager for DuPont Pioneer. “Our strong partnership with Perdue and the support of local growers have made Delaware a perfect fit for Plenish soybeans.”

Plenish soybeans were developed by DuPont scientists at the Experimental Station in Wilmington. The 6,000 acres currently grown in Delaware will produce an estimated 300,000 bushels.

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Contact: Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture