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Gov. Carney tours First State farms

Sarah Mueller
Gov. John Carney speaking to Bobby Fifer of Fifer Orchards. On the left is DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. On the right of Carney is Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse.

Gov. John Carney says he wants to find ways to increase profits for Delaware’s farmers. He toured several several First State farms Monday.

Carney started at Fifer Orchards in Camden. Some of Fifer’s main products are strawberries, asparagus and peaches.

But, the farm primarily stocks grocery stores in other states because that’s where the big distribution centers are located. It ships products to states along the East Coast like Georgia, Florida and Maryland.

“So, that’s something too we can think about, whether we should reach out and talk to distributors that might want to set up an operation here in our state,” Carney said.

Credit Sarah Mueller
Fifer Orchards peach packing line.

Carney also said markets determine prices, but the state can help with marketing and easing regulatory burdens.

“One of the purposes of the tour is to figure out is whether there is things we can do," he said. "I know Ag preservation is really a big priority for all of us and again, the best way to preserve farmland is to help farmers be more profitable.”

Fifer Orchards owners Curt and Bobby Fifer said they hire about 80 guest workers to help harvest the produce. They also want to be able to hire more immigrant seasonal workers. The federal government last month lifted a cap on temporary workers for this year.

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