On Thursday, Dec. 5, Delaware Farm Bureau members and directors, along with legislators and honored guests, gathered at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover to celebrate the annual banquet of the Delaware Farm Bureau. At 6 p.m., a silent auction was held to benefit the Young Farmer & Rancher Scholarship Fund. Thanks to generous donations, more than $1,700 was raised.
Delaware Farm Bureau President Gary Warren addressed the crowd, welcoming special guest Terry McClure, a Nationwide board member. McClure has been serving the Nationwide Board of Directors since 2004. He is one of nine members on the Nationwide Board of Directors who has some sort of agricultural background. He is past president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and previously served on the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Ohio Corn Growers Association, Soybean Association, Cattlemen’s Association and serves as a board member of the Ohio Wheat Growers Association.
McClure assisted Warren in presenting the Nationwide Insurance Achievement Awards. Brett Landis, Nationwide sales manager, accepted on behalf of the Charles Wallace Agency, which was once again named the top membership recruiter in the state. The Scott Cary Agency of Dagsboro was named the No. 1 Nationwide Agribusiness Executive Agency.
The Ag in the Classroom Essay Contest, in its fifth year, awarded Kaylee Dulin the first-place prize. Kaylee is a seventh grader at Smyrna Middle School. She, along with her teacher, Stefanie Freimuth, were honored at the banquet. Kaylee read her winning essay entitled, “How Agriculture Helps Feed People Around the World!” She was given a check for $300 and her teacher was given a $200 Staples gift card. It should be noted that her ag science teacher, Stefanie Freimuth, had the top three place finishers.
Two retiring members of the Delaware Farm Bureau Board of Directors were honored for their years of service. Guy Phillips, who has served on the board of directors as the Sussex County Farm Bureau president, and Laurence Jestice, who has also served as director, each finished their terms of office. The two were honored for their hard work, dedication and continued support of Farm Bureau.
This year’s New Castle County Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year, the Ramsey family, was named the 2013 Delaware Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year. The Ramsey Farm is currently run by Stewart Ramsey, who is the fifth generation on the land. His wife Wendy, son Carl, and mother, brother and sister all play a significant part in the farming operation as well. The largest part of the family’s land was owned from 1860 to 1986. In 1986, the land was sold and most recently became part of Delaware’s first national park.
The farm, which has evolved from a 40-cow dairy farm, now holds birthday parties, has pick-your-own pumpkins and serves as a place to learn about food and farming. In 2013, the Ramsey Farm was awarded the Governor’s Conservation Award for Agriculture in New Castle County. Also in 2013, the family planted a small plot of sweet corn as a means to give back to friends and the community. From that crop, more than 2,000 ears of corn have been donated to the Ministry of Caring.
Alfred Johnson Jr. of Magnolia, Del., was named the 2013 Delaware Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture recipient. He grew up on Long Island, N.Y., and moved to Delaware in 1952 after his family purchased four farms. He obtained his commercial pilot’s license in 1958 and then started flying as a commercial ag pilot. He is the owner of Air Enterprises Inc., an agricultural aviation spraying, seeding and fertilizing business. He’s also owned a liquid fertilizer and liquid lime manufacturing business called Chem Inc.
As an ag aviator, Johnson has sprayed millions of acres of peas, lima beans, sweet corn, spinach, carrots, small grains, asparagus, potatoes, soybeans, melons and cucumbers all across Delmarva. His customers stretch from the St. George’s canal to Salisbury and over to Easton. He was a member of the Delaware and New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association and the Delaware Potato Growers Association.
Johnson has two airplanes displayed in museums in Delaware. In 2008, he was inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame.
Delaware Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chairwoman Mary Bea Gooden had the honor of awarding the next Delaware Farm Bureau Youth Ambassador. The runners up, Samantha Kirk, Sussex County Farm Bureau youth ambassador, and Hannah Willey, New Castle County Farm Bureau youth ambassador, will serve each of their county Farm Bureaus on the local level.
Lee Severson was selected as the 2013 Delaware Farm Bureau Youth Ambassador. Severson is the son of Vincent and Diane Severson of Dover and is a 2013 graduate of Smyrna High School. He is currently attending Delaware State University and majoring in wildlife management. Severson’s first duty as state youth ambassador was to pull the winning ticket in the 1st Annual YF&R Gun Raffle. Joe Sprowl was selected to receive a camouflage Beretta A400 Shotgun, a store credit at Shooter’s Choice or a cash prize.
Delaware Farm Bureau