Ed Kee, a sixth generation Delawarean, is currently serving as Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, having been appointed to the post by Delaware Governor Jack Markell on January 21, 2009. Kee began his agricultural career as the Farm Manager for Nassau Orchards in Lewes, Delaware (1975 – 1978) and had a long and illustrious career with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension (1978 – 2008). In 2004, he was appointed as the Extension Agricultural Program Leader. Following his retirement from the University of Delaware in 2008, Kee was the Director of Agriculture for Hanover Foods Corporation in Clayton, Delaware until his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture.
Kee is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on vegetable science, especially lima beans. He has also received many awards for his outstanding contributions to Delaware agriculture and public service, among them are the following:
- 1996 – George M. Worrilow Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture by a University of Delaware College of Agriculture graduate
- 2005 – University of Delaware’s Ratledge Award for Outstanding Public Service.
- 2008 – Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture
- 2008 – Bean Improvement Cooperative – Meritorious Service Award
- 2013 – Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achivement for Outstanding Service on Behalf of Delmarva’s Poultry Industry
- 2013 – Inducted into the University of Delaware Wall of Fame
Kee graduated from the University of Delaware in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Kee has two Master’s Degrees from the University of Delaware; a Master of Science in Plant Science in 1975 and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in 1996. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These include articles published in the fields of horticulture, vegetable science, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, history and civil rights. He has lectured on agricultural or historical topics across the United States and in Mexico, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the Ukraine. In 2010, Kee served as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, which includes all 50 states and 4 territories. During his University career and as Secretary, Kee continues to be instrumental in attracting major food processors to Delaware, creating jobs and opportunities for Delaware producers. As Secretary, he also created the Delaware Young Farmer’s Program, enabling beginning farmer’s to acquire their first farm.
Kee resides on a farm in Lincoln City, Delaware with his wife Debbie. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.
Articles by Ed
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