Clayton resident Kitty Holtz and her husband, Dave, started their own grain farm operation, and decades later the family remains a significant part of the agricultural community in Kent County.
Clayton resident Kitty Holtz grew up a country girl but didn’t get involved with agriculture until she married her husband, Dave Holtz, 45 years ago. Dave, a farmer, and Kitty started their own grain farm operation, and decades later the family remains a significant part of the agricultural community in Kent County.
Holtz – president of the Kent County Farm Bureau – likes being a part of the agricultural community. Also, Holtz said it means a lot to her knowing the family farm produces a product that is important not only to the United States but the world as well.
Holtz spoke with us about her involvement with agriculture.
Q What is the state of the ag industry in Kent County?
A Harvesting and planting are on schedule. The crops look good, but we could really use some rain. The weather is a major factor and can change things dramatically. The weather has a big impact on crops and things can change a great deal in a short amount of time.
Q How has the industry changed in the last 20 or 30 years?
A The advancement in technology has changed. The equipment has improved greatly. It’s safer and more comfortable for the operator. Research technology has provided us with more options to grow and be more efficient.
Q What is the greatest challenge facing agriculture in Kent County in the future?
A Over regulation and preserving our right to farm is the greatest challenge we face today. Also, educating the public about agriculture. When we first started farming in Kent County, the population was much smaller. With the increase in population comes the uninformed and the disconnect of knowledge regarding farming. A lot of our new neighbors are not familiar with agriculture.
Q What opportunities are available in the near future?
A A lot of farming operations are starting to diversify. By growing different products or offering a variety of services, they can lower their business risk.
Q What don’t people know that they should know about the agriculture industry in Kent County?
A I think the number one thing is really how important agriculture is to Kent County. Agriculture in Kent County doesn’t just affect the farmer you see in the field. There are many businesses that agriculture supports through the purchase of their products and services. Many jobs are provided related to agriculture. It is a ripple effect. When agriculture prospers, so do the jobs and businesses in Kent County.