A Carroll County woman was named the 2012 Miss Maryland Agriculture during opening night ceremonies at the Maryland State Fair Aug. 24.
Phyllis McKenzie, 19, lives on her family’s 165-acre dairy farm in Pleasant Valley. She is the daughter of Tom and Nancy McKenzie.
Twenty-one county Farm Bureaus were represented during the annual two-day event to choose the state’s top agriculture spokesperson. The contest was sponsored by the Maryland Farm Bureau and Maryland State Fair.
Four contestants were named to a court to assist the state winner throughout the fair and during the year ahead. They are: Lydia Eichler of Queen Anne’s County, first runner-up; Sarah Holt of Caroline County, second runner-up; Shelby Hurley of Wicomico County, third runner-up; and Katy Kerns of Cecil County, fourth runner-up.
The McKenzie family milks 50 cows and raises replacement heifers. They grow corn and wheat for silage and mixed grass hay to feed the cows. They use rotational grazing on their farm, moving their animals from field to field to give time for grasses to recover and to cut feed expenses.
Phyllis McKenzie also raises hogs and sheep to show at her county and the state fairs, and the family raises laying chickens.
Among her many chores on the farm, McKenzie feeds and milks the cows, cares for newborn calves, moves and repairs fencing, does all types of field work, cares for her 4-H projects and assists with fixing machinery.
When she is not working on the farm, the new state spokesperson works as an independent skating coach, competes in ice skating and pic-skating (inline skating), is active at St. Matthews United Church of Christ and helps at the local fire department.
She is the president of the Wakefield Valley 4-H Club, was active in the Francis Scott Key FFA Chapter and served as the Maryland FFA secretary this past year. She has represented Maryland 4-H at the National 4-H Conference and represented Maryland FFA as a delegate for the National FFA Convention.
A recent high school graduate, McKenzie was an honor roll student, played cello in the orchestra and was active in the school’s dance company. She will attend Carroll Community College in the fall and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland to major in landscape architecture.
Other county representatives participating in the Miss Maryland Agriculture contest were:
Allegany: Ashley Parker
Anne Arundel: Trish Hildebrand
Baltimore: Alison Devereux-Brosnan
Calvert: Sarah Manning
Charles: Melissa Braun
Dorchester: Susan Windsor
Frederick: Maegan Olson
Garrett: Katelyn Gnegy
Harford: Emily Gill
Howard: Molly Ousborne
Montgomery: Susan Hilton
Prince George’s: Lauren Larsen
St. Mary’s: Christy Cusic
Talbot: Michelle McCulley
Washington: Valerie Mason
Worcester: Casie Campbell<\c> The new Miss Maryland Agriculture, Phyllis McKenzie of Carroll County, and her court, from left, Shelby Hurley of Wicomico County, Lydia Eichler of Queen Anne’s County, McKenzie, Sarah Holt of Caroline County and Katy Kerns of Cecil County.