Chuck Fry of Tuscarora, Frederick County, was chosen to lead the Maryland Farm Bureau during the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting and Convention Dec. 8-10 at the Clarion Resort Hotel in Ocean City. More than 400 members and guests of the state’s largest general agriculture organization gathered to celebrate program achievements, learn and share ideas, and establish policy for the coming year.
During vice presidential elections, Wayne Stafford of Elkton, Cecil County, became the first vice president and John Draper of Centreville, Queen Anne’s County, was chosen as vice president. Outgoing President Patricia Langenfelder of Kennedyville, Kent County, was honored for her outstanding four-year service as the organization’s leader.
The event was highlighted with the annual awards banquet where Baltimore County took the coveted Silver Bowl Award for its outstanding program work in the past year. Baltimore County Farm Bureau President Keith Wills accepted the honor, along with several President’s Awards.
Baltimore County was one of nine counties to receive gold ratings in all six of the program areas. The honors are given for member benefits/membership, legislative affairs, women’s leadership/agriculture education, young farmers, leadership development and outstanding county Farm Bureau program. The other top-rated counties were Anne Arundel, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Talbot.
In order to earn an award in any of the six program areas, county Farm Bureaus must submit an essay explaining how the program is communicated to members; member involvement; goals and planning activities; and results of the program and activities. The awards were judged, given a score, and ranked gold, silver or bronze.
The top-scoring counties in each of the program areas were presented President’s Awards for their results and innovation. Honored counties in the membership category of 900 or less total members were: Dorchester for ag education and government relations; Talbot for leadership development and outstanding county program; Queen Anne’s for county board organization; and Kent County for membership.
The President’s Awards in the membership category of 901 or more total members went to: Baltimore for membership, ag education and outstanding county program; and Frederick for government relations, county board organization and leadership development.
The Distinguished Service to Farm Bureau Award was presented to Brinsfield Lowe of Dorchester County. Having served 24 years as the county Farm Bureau president and on the Maryland Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Lowe has been a leader on the wildlife management, field crops, subnominating and credential committees.
He is a regular participant in grassroots action efforts and has attended most of the American Farm Bureau Conventions over the last 20 years. In his county, Lowe is credited with making the annual picnic one of the most successful events for the local Farm Bureau.
Along with his wife, Marjorie, he has farmed an average of 500 acres over the last 45 years in Rhodesdale. He has grown watermelons, string beans, sweet corn, field corn and soybeans. The couple raised two daughters, Nancy and Carol, and have four grandchildren.
Board of Directors
The Maryland Farm Bureau Board of Directors now includes two representatives from each of the state’s six districts. One director from each district was elected to a two-year term last year, so those leaders continuing on the board for one more year include Larry Howard of Frederick County, District 1; Jay Rhine of Howard County, District 2; and Milly Welsh of Anne Arundel County, District 3. The District 4 and 5 directors, Wayne Stafford and John Draper, were elected to vice presidential seats, therefore they were replaced by newly elected directors Jonathan Quinn of Cecil County, District 4, and Harry Moreland of Caroline County, District 5. District 6 director Eddie Johnson was replaced with Johnny Knott of St. Mary’s County.
Those selected for two-year terms are Billy Bishoff of Garrett County, District 1; Joe Kuhn of Carroll County, District 2; Chris Parker of Prince George’s County, District 3; Keith Wills of Baltimore County, District 4; Tom Mason of Kent County, District 5; and Bill Edwards of Dorchester County, District 6.
Among those directors, six executive committee members were selected: Larry Howard, Jay Rhine, Milly Welsh, Keith Wills, Tom Mason and Bill Edwards.
The future of agriculture rests in the hands and hearts of the young farmers. To assist in the development of their leadership skills, both personally and professionally, the Maryland Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation organized four areas of competition: the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award, Discussion Meet and Collegiate Discussion Meet.
The winner of the 2013 Young Farmer Achievement Award is Jamie Nelson of Somerset County, and Michael Calkins of Howard County captured the Excellence in Agriculture honor. Shelby Watson of Prince George’s County won the Discussion Meet honor. All winners will represent Maryland Farm Bureau in the national competition at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in January. Dane Grossnickle of Frederick County was the winner of the Collegiate Discussion Meet and his national competition will take place at the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach in February.
Six new leaders were selected as Maryland Farm Bureau Young Farmers including Chris Price, chairman; Sean Clougherty, vice chairman; Emmilee Guy, secretary; and directors, Francis Moats, Tyler Butler and Shelby Hurley.
Farm Bureau Women
The Farm Bureau Women’s Committee is an important part of the organization, planning and coordinating many agriculture education and legislative events throughout the year. Newly elected Chairperson Jennifer Cross of Prince George’s County will be assisted by Vice Chairperson Paula Linthicum of Montgomery County. Their entertaining and informative meeting included featured speaker Kathryn Danko-Lord.
The top three Safemark dealers in Maryland were recognized based on dollar sales volume. The No. 1 dealer in the state was Kinnamon’s Service of Caroline County. Classic Tire Service of Queen Anne’s County took second place, and J. David Mullinix of Howard County rounded out the top three.
Eight county presidents were recognized for their service as they retired. They were Keith Wills of Baltimore County; Tommy Briscoe of Calvert County; Harry Moreland of Caroline County; Shawn Bender of Garrett County; Jay Rickey of Harford County; Kara Morris of Kent County; David Herbst of Washington County; and Lee Richardson of Wicomico County.
Newly elected county presidents are Jo-Ann Chason of Baltimore County; Susie Hance-Wells of Calvert County; Chris Robinson of Caroline County; Billy Bishoff of Garrett County; Mike Doran of Harford County; Jennifer Debnam of Kent County; Matt Schnebly of Washington County; and Charles Wright of Wicomico County.<\c> Submitted Photo
Chuck Fry, seated center, of Tuscarora, Frederick County, was elected president of the Maryland Farm Bureau during the organization’s recent annual meeting and convention. With him are newly elected officers Wayne Stafford of Elkton, Cecil County, left, first vice president; and John Draper of Centreville, Queen Anne’s County, vice president.