A great start to the summer
On Monday morning, I traveled to Ellis Farms in Gumboro to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Farm Credit System. The Farm Credit System was created in 1916 to provide loans, leases and financial services to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses across the United States. In Delaware, the Farm Credit System has been crucial to the ongoing success of our farmers, rural communities, local economies and agriculture industry by providing farm operations with the financial trust and support they need to get up and running or survive and thrive through difficult times. Today, the MidAtlantic Farm Credit, which serves Delaware farmers, has 17 branches across the region and supports over 11,000 members with more than $2.5 billion in outstanding trust. I was delighted to join Delaware farmers who have reaped the benefits of the Farm Credit System, as well as the men and women of the MidAtlantic Farm Credit to celebrate the bright future of our farmers for generations to come.
Later that afternoon I visited the Food Bank of Delaware’s summer feeding program site in Selbyville. One in five Sussex County children are food insecure. During the school year, we do a pretty good job making sure kids have nutritious food each day, but when school is out for the summer, that becomes a more difficult task. That’s why we have summer meal programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Department of Education, and the Food Bank of Delaware that work together to run more than 200 sites throughout the state in order to reach as many children as possible. No child in Delaware or anywhere in the country should go hungry, and I’m proud of the work done by the Food Bank, the Department of Education and the hundreds of volunteers who work to make the summer program possible each year.
Later in the week, in the heart of Wilmington, I had the opportunity to be at the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the re-opening of Fort Christina. Fort Christina is the site where the first Swedish and Finnish settlers landed in the New World over 375 years ago, and I’m excited that it’s once again open to the public. Delaware has played an incredibly important role in the history of our nation – from hosting some of the first European settlers, to being the first state to ratify the Constitution. And through our very own National Historical Park, created just over a year and half ago, Delaware is able to tell that story and share it with our families and tourists from all over the country. The First State National Historic Park has nine sites, including Fort Christina and the Old Swedes Church – the oldest church in the United States that stands as it was originally built and remains in use as a house of worship. I’d encourage all of you to bring your families and friends out to Fort Christina, learn about life for the early settlers, visit the Old Swedes Church, and walk down the street to explore the Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of one of the ships that brought Swedes and Finns across the Atlantic.
This weekend, I also encourage you to visit the Delaware State Fair in Harrington that runs through July 30th. I hope you all continue to have a safe and happy summer. And as always I encourage you to reach out to me through email or on Twitter at @SenatorCarper and on Facebook at facebook.com/tomcarper.