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Senator Gerald Hocker Summer Updates

Date: July 14, 2017

Fourth of July - Bethany Style
Senator Hocker joined friends from the district and beyond to take part in the Bethany Beach 4th of July parade. Happy 241st Birthday United States. According to the Department of Transportation more than 995,000 motorists traveled through Delaware toll plazas between Saturday and Tuesday - apparently, the secret is out about how great Delaware is.
Delaware Produce Week
Facilitating a better relationship between Delaware farmers and local consumers
Senator Hocker picked his own peaches as part of Delaware Produce Week. Senator Hocker's grocery stores buy produce from the local, Bennett Orchards near Frankford.
By Joseph Fulgham
Initially established in 2015 as a partnership between the General Assembly and the state Department of Agriculture, each week-long produce week observation includes a series of events highlighting the numerous ways Delawareans can connect with family farms in their communities.
State Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Dover South, who was raised on a dairy farm and is the creator of Delaware Produce Week, said there are a lot of benefits to encouraging "buy local, eat local" behavior.  "Farms products often travel hundreds of miles from producer to plate," he said.  "In some cases, like mangos, that's unavoidable.  But in many instances, the fruits, vegetables, and meats that Delawareans want are being produced not far from their front doors.  Fresher food translates into better nutrition, better taste, and the potential for better eating habits."
Senator Gerald Hocker is a big supporter of buying local. His grocery stores, G & E and Hocker's Markets in the Bethany/Clarksville buy produce from local farms such as Benett Orchards in Frankford.
Delaware Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse said more consumers are seeking out local food options.  "They know that buying local means the best, freshest food out there," he said.  "These trends are being driven by Delaware residents who have become more and more interested in where they get their food from. Increasingly, that means going local - either buying directly from a farmer or knowing that the food in their grocery stores comes from local family farms. People want that connection with their neighbors and nearby farms."
According to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, there are over 80 on-site farmstands throughout the state and more than 20 farms that allow patrons to harvest their own fruits and vegetables.  Last year, total sales at Delaware's 25 community-run farmers' markets topped $2.9 million.  About 45-percent of those sales were from products other than produce such as meats, cheeses, jellies, bread, salsa, eggs, and honey.
Big Beach Builds

During the session Senator Hocker took some time to honor one of his friends and constituents, Marnie Oursler, star and creator of the DIY series, Big Beach Builds. Her show is the first one to be completely shot in Sussex County Delaware. 
Oursler and Hocker have been friends for years. She worked on one of his first political campaigns some years ago.
Helping Hurting Children
HB 141 signed 

Senator Hocker joined Governor John Carney and Representative Sean Lynn for the signing of HB 141, a bill Senator Hocker supported. The bill allows children involved in a protection from abuse proceeding the right to be able to make their testimony on video rather than in person in front of the accused.
The Court may permit counsel to be present during the interview and ask the child questions. The Court may also permit a party who is not present for the interview to submit questions of fact for the Court to use in interviewing the child.  
The hope is it will help children feel more comfortable in telling the truth about a situation without intimidation from other parties, said Senator Hocker. 
HB 141