Governor Hogan Honors White Hall Farm as Bicentennial Farm

Governor Larry Hogan honored six Maryland farm families during the 2020 Century Farm ceremony at the State House on January 27, 2020. Among the farms honored was White Hall Farm in Dunkirk, which was recognized as a bicentennial farm.

Below is a profile of White Hall Farm from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. In addition to the Calvert County farm, five other Century Farms were honored:

  • Chafey Farm; Marion Station, Somerset County; est. 1919
  • Evergreen Heritage Center; Mount Savage, Allegany County; est. 1869
  • Jeptha Hayman Farm; Westover, Somerset County; est. 1834
  • Poplar Springs Farm; La Plata, Charles County, est. 1914
  • The Wil-Low-S at Lowe Point; Pylesville, Harford County, est. 1902

White Hall Farm (Dunkirk, Calvert County)

Currently owned and operated by Tiffany and Todd Durbin, this Bicentennial Farm has been in the family since 1801 when it was originally purchased by Thomas W.B. Smith. Mr. Smith was the founder of Smithsville, Maryland, now known as Dunkirk.

The original farm covered more than 168 acres and is currently 75 acres. Information related to the origins of the land is unclear due to the loss of records when the Calvert County courthouse burnt down in 1882.

White Hall Farm hosted the first ever Calvert County Fair on its grounds in 1886. The farmhouse was built in 1801, and is being awarded the Century Farm Historic Structures Award. Additionally, there is one tobacco barn on the property that is still standing in its original structure, and two more tobacco barns that were built in 1900.

Throughout its 200-year history, White Hall Farm has grown tobacco and raised cows, horses, chickens, and goats. The farm currently grows poultry, corn and soybeans.

Todd Durbin is a veteran of the U.S. Army and participates in the Farmer Veteran Coalition and Maryland’s Best Homegrown By Heroes program.

Sophia Goins is 2020 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau

Carrie Jones is Calvert’s first Junior Miss and Caroline Tiralla takes “Little Miss” title

2020 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau
The 2020 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau was named at the Calvert County Farm Bureau annual banquet held in November 2019. Pictured from left to right, Little Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Caroline Tiralla, Junior Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Carrie Jones, Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Sophia Goins, and Jason Leavitt, outgoing president of the Calvert County Farm Bureau.

Meet Our Miss – Sophia Goins

My name is Sophia Goins. I am a sixteen year old eleventh grade student at Calvert High School. I am a member of Calvert High School FFA as well as a student in the CASE program. Both FFA and CASE help me understand and apply future advancement for agriculture studies. Within the FFA program I attend the annual conference, farm to table, volunteer at local horse show, and also talk to incoming freshman about the opportunities of agriculture. I also participated in the Calvert County Fair, placing as the 2019 Junior Waterfowl Champion. I am diligent in taking care of my ducks, hen, and rooster. I have a desire to learn more about agriculture and the importance of it’s impact on our everyday lives.

Junior Miss – Carrie Jones

My name is Carrie Jones and I live on Windy Willow Farm in Sunderland, MD. I attend James Madison Online High School and I’m 15. On our farm we raise livestock for meat production, and I show livestock. I am the current secretary in Battle Creek 4-H club, and I am a 4-H ambassador.

Little Miss – Caroline Tiralla, age 9 from Monnett Farms in Prince Frederick

Calvert County Farm Bureau Elects New President

Joe Sam Swann elected as next president of Calvert County Farm Bureau

December 13, 2019 (Prince Frederick, Maryland) — The Calvert County Farm Bureau announced Joe Sam Swann of Swann Farms in Owings, Maryland was elected as the new board president following the organization’s November board meeting. 

Joe-Sam Swann
Joe-Sam Swann and family of Swann Farms in Owings, Maryland.

Swann is a lifelong resident of Calvert County and owner of Swann Farms, a fruit and vegetable farm, on Chaneyville Road. Swann has been a member of the Calvert County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for nearly a decade. He is married to Kelly Swann, the Calvert County Agriculture Development Specialist and the couple have four children. Swann farmed with his cousin, Jody Swann and late father, Sambo Swann. Swann Farms is well known for its pick-your-own berries, peaches, sweet corn and other produce that can be found at local farmers’ markets and retailers throughout the county.

Jason Leavitt of Wilson Dowell Farm in Owings is the board’s outgoing president.

Donnie Bowen of Patuxent Overlook Farm in Prince Frederick was elected as the board’s Vice President. Cathy Cosgrove of Horsmon Farm in St. Leonard and Susan Allen of Susan Allen CPA in Prince Frederick continue to serve as the board’s secretary and treasurer, respectively. Other board members include: 

  • JR Cosgrove, Horsmon Farm, St. Leonard
  • Mark Cox, Mulberry Hill Farm, Huntingtown
  • Suzi Gibson, Bowensville Farm and Nursery, Prince Frederick
  • Tom Hance, Jr., Government Relations for American Soybean Association, resides in Owings
  • Debbie Jones, Windy Willow Farm, Sunderland
  • Kenny King, Kirby Agri, resides in Chesapeake Beach
  • Jason Leavitt, Wilson Dowell Farm, Owings
  • Jamie Tiralla, Monnett Farms, Prince Frederick
  • Ben Wood, Wood Farms and Rock Spring Hill, Huntingtown

The Calvert County Farm Bureau also announced that it will hold its annual legislative dinner on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Calvert Elk’s Lodge in Prince Frederick. Registration is $28 per person and details are available at calvertfarmbureau.com. 

Additionally, the Calvert County Farm Bureau will host its Farm to Table Breakfast on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Calvert County Fairgrounds. Details will be available soon. Sponsors and volunteers are needed please contact calvertfarmbureau@gmail.com if you are interested.

About Calvert County Farm Bureau: The Calvert County Farm Bureau advocates for agriculture in Calvert County, representing nearly 400 members including farmers, agribusiness men and women, and individuals who support agriculture in Calvert County. The Calvert County Farm Bureau supports numerous activities throughout the year including an annual banquet, legislative dinner and farm to table breakfast. The Calvert County Farm Bureau offers a scholarship for college students and sponsors the Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau contest which aims to advance leadership skills in young women. Learn more about Calvert County Farm Bureau at calvertfarmbureau.com

John Deere Member Benefit

New Member Benefits

Maryland Farm Bureau membership offers numerous ways to save on everyday products and services you use. As a member of the Calvert County Farm Bureau, you have access to discounts on insurance, equipment, tools, travel, dining, and much more. Maryland Farm Bureau has several new benefits – please contact calvertfarmbureau@gmail.com if you need more information about how you can take advantage of these offers.

John Deere Rewards

Maryland Farm Bureau members receive complimentary John Deere Rewards upgrade (Platinum 2 status). Check out the savings on the following equipment categories:

  • Commercial Mowing — $300 to $2,700 off
  • Residential Mowing — $100 to $200 off 
  • Utility Vehicles — $200 to $350 off
  • Tractors — $200 to $300 off
  • Golf & Sports Turf — $500 to $3,700 off
  • Commercial Worksite — 17% off MSRP

Learn more at mdfarmbureau.com/john-deere

Ford X-Plan Vehicle Pricing

Maryland Farm Bureau members get exclusive pricing and special offers on Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Office Depot Savings Card

Maryland Farm Bureau members can save up to 75% on thousands of products and print services at Office Depot and Office Max. This benefit includes contract pricing on HP ink and toner, exclusive monthly specials, low cost copy and print services and promotional products with last column pricing. Contact us for details on how you can get your member benefits card.

Xerox Preferred Pricing

With Maryland Farm Bureau membership, you can access exceptional savings on Xerox products.

Maryland Farm Bureau Names New Executive Director

DAVIDSONVILLE, Md.- The Maryland Farm Bureau Board of Directors on Thursday announced the appointment of John Torres as the organization’s new executive director, effective mid-July 2019.

John Torres succeeds Valerie Connelly as the executive director of the Maryland Farm Bureau. Ms. Connelly, who has been with Maryland Farm Bureau for more than 25 years will serve as the vice president of government affairs and public relations for Choptank Electric Cooperative.

Torres succeeds Valerie Connelly, who has served as executive director since 2013. Earlier this spring, Connelly made the board aware of a new opportunity she would be taking to serve as vice president of government affairs and public relations for Choptank Electric Cooperative.

Torres has held several key positions within the Farm Bureau family since 2006. He has previously served as an organization director for the Ohio Farm Bureau, before joining the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. to work as the director of leadership development. Currently, he serves as director of government and industry affairs for the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association in Delaware, Ohio, in which he oversees state and federal government relations; legislative and regulatory affairs; grassroots policy development and the organization’s political action committee.

Torres graduated from Ohio State University in 2005, where he majored in agricultural business and applied economics with a minor in agricultural education. He also holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society for Association Executives.

“John has a long history within the Farm Bureau family, both in Ohio and at the national level. We are so very fortunate to have someone with his breadth and depth of knowledge of what our grassroots organization is all about,” said MFB President and chair of the search committee, Chuck Fry. “We are excited to have John join our team, and we know that he will provide strong and innovative leadership as Maryland Farm Bureau moves forward.”

As executive director, Torres will serve as the chief executive of the statewide organization and lead efforts to advance its mission to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life.

Torres grew up on a northwest Ohio grain farm, and will be relocating to Maryland from Columbus, Ohio.

Maryland Farm Bureau is a non-profit membership organization, serving as the united voice of Maryland farm families. The organization is directed and governed by members at the grassroots level. Maryland Farm Bureau has more than 26,000-members that belong to the state’s 23 county Farm Bureaus.

Mental Health Workshops

Mental health is not a common topic of discussion in our industry, but did you know that farmers have one of the highest suicide rates of any job in the U.S.? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that farmers are among the highest risk professions for drug abuse and alcoholism.

The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) has recently been awarded funding from the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to host workshops around the state focused on bringing awareness to Mental Health in rural areas.

In partnership with University of Maryland Extension, MASCD is hoping to make a change in the industry trends towards suicide, drugs and alcoholism in Maryland. A series of free workshops will be held in March, targeted towards, but not limited to, agricultural lenders, agribusiness professionals, crop consultants, extension agents, farm bureau leaders, nutrient management planners, and soil conservation district employees. Attendees will receive training to detect early warning signs and prevention methods for severe mental stress and substance abuse. Farmers and farm families are also welcomed and encouraged to attend.

The workshops will be held at four locations around the state this coming winter:

  • Chesapeake College on March 5
  • Harford County Public Library in Bel Air library on March 6
  • Frederick Community College on March 7
  • Charles Soil Conservation District on March 8

Register online for free: eventbrite.com/e/mental-health-workshops-tickets-54707317058

MASCD hopes this project will benefit farm families across the state of Maryland. Stay tuned for more details as registration opens in the coming months. For more information, contact Danielle Bauer, 443-262-8491 or Danielle.mdag@gmail.com.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental stress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Public Insight Sought on White-tailed Deer Management

Four Public Comment Meetings Scheduled

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the state’s management of white-tailed deer. The input will be used to help revise the state’s deer management plan for the next 15 years, establishing long-term goals, and identifying specific objectives and strategies for achieving them.

Through Feb. 28, the public can provide comments online. The department is also accepting feedback by phone at 410-260-8540; by fax at 410-260-8596; or in writing to: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401.

“We look forward to hearing from all citizens interested in one of Maryland’s most important wildlife species – the white-tailed deer,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Public input is vital to crafting a well-rounded plan that includes all opinions about deer and how they should be managed.”

A brief summary of the current status of white-tailed deer management will be presented at four public meetings:

Western Region
Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
Mountain Ridge High School
100 Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick Lane
Frostburg, Maryland 21532

Southern Region
Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.
College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus
Room 113, Business and Industry Building
8730 Mitchell Road
La Plata, Maryland 20646

Eastern Region
Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
Chesapeake College
Room 127, Health Professions and Athletics Center
1000 College Drive
Wye Mills, Maryland 21679

Central Region
Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
New Town High School
4931 New Town Boulevard
Owings Mills, Maryland 21117

Meetings are weather-dependent, and will be postponed if schools are closed on the scheduled day. Attendees should check the department website for closure and rescheduling information.

2019 Miss Farm Bureau Application

Becky Jones Named 2015 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau

The Calvert County Farm Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2019 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau contest. The purpose of this program is to surface young women with agricultural backgrounds to serve as leaders in the effort to promote our agricultural industry and the Farm Bureau organization throughout the year and in the future.

Download the Application Here

Deadline to apply is October 26, 2017. Applicants must be able to attend the Calvert County Farm Bureau Annual Banquet on Friday, November 2 at 6pm at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick. Candidates should come dressed in business attire and be prepared for an interview with a panel of judges based on the candidate’s application, resume and essay responses.

The application should be submitted to the Calvert County Farm Bureau by email to calvertfarmbureau@gmail.com or mail to 1865 Horsmon Farm Lane, St. Leonard, MD 20685. If you have questions, please call Debbie Jones, the Calvert County Farm Bureau Activities Committee Chair at (301) 928-6781 or debbie@windywillowfarm.com.

About the Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Application

The application involves three parts:

Part 1: Resume
Your resume is a written compilation of your education, work experience, credentials and agricultural accomplishments. References are not requested. Please use the Times New Roman font, no smaller than 12pt. and do not exceed 1 page in length.

Part 2: Essay Question Response

Please select one of the questions listed below and answer it in an essay format not to exceed 1 page in 12 point, double spaced font. Please include your name and county at the top of the page.

  1. As Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau, your role is to promote a positive image for agriculture. What do you hope to accomplish as an advocate for agriculture?
  2. Please explain how agriculture has influenced your life so far and how you see it playing a role in your life in the future.

When writing the essay please be aware of spelling, grammar, punctuation, content and the depth of knowledge and clarity given in answering the question. Questions can be asked by the judges during the formal interviews pertaining to your essay answer.

Part 3: Personal Info & Membership Verification
Applicants and/or their parent or guardian must be members of the Calvert County Farm Bureau. This section of the application includes personal information, membership id verification and an agreement that if selected as Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau you will agree to participate in the Miss Maryland contest at the Maryland State Fair in August 2018.

Download the Application Here

Thank you to our sponsors

The Calvert County Farm Bureau Farm to Table Breakfast is a success because of our partners in the community.

This year, we are overwhelmed to have continued support from individuals and businesses in Calvert County. Please help us thank the following businesses for making this event possible.

Event sponsorships help us fund our scholarship and young farmer leadership program. Since the breakfast began in 2014, we have awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships to high school and college students. We have also sponsored two young farmers through the LEAD Maryland program.

2018 Farm to Table Breakfast Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor ($500)

Charles F. Weber Co. Inc.

Platinum Sponsor ($300)

A&W Insurance Services
Marshall & Associates Insurance, Inc.
Q Dog Fuels
Southern Maryland Paving

Golden Sponsor ($200)

Buddy Hance for Commissioner
Carrie Polk Insurance, Inc.
Colonial Farm Credit
Guy Brothers Implements, Inc.
Horsmon Farm

Silver Sponsor ($100)

231 Farm & Outdoor Sports
Hatcher Supply
R & D Cross, Inc.
Super Salvage, Inc.
Susie Hance-Wells For Commissioner

Bronze Sponsor ($50)

Kirby Agri Inc.
LE Wilson Grooming & Boarding
Michael A. Thomas for Delegate-27B
Windy Willow Farm

In Kind Sponsors

Goose Creek Farm, donated waffles
Prince Frederick Graphics, donated banner

2018 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Application

The Calvert County Farm Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2018 Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau contest. The purpose of this program is to surface young women with agricultural backgrounds to serve as leaders in the effort to promote our agricultural industry and the Farm Bureau organization throughout the year and in the future.

Download the Application Here

Deadline to apply is November 1, 2017. Applicants must be able to attend the Calvert County Farm Bureau Annual Banquet on Friday, November 3 at 6pm at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick.

The application should be submitted to the Calvert County Farm Bureau by email to calvertfarmbureau@gmail.com or mail to 1865 Horsmon Farm Lane, St. Leonard, MD 20685. If you have questions, please call Debbie Jones, the Calvert County Farm Bureau Activities Committee Chair at (301) 928-6781 or debbie@windywillowfarm.com.

About the Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau Application

The application involves three parts:

Part 1: Resume
Your resume is a written compilation of your education, work experience, credentials and agricultural accomplishments. References are not requested. Please use the Times New Roman font, no smaller than 12pt. and do not exceed 1 page in length.

Part 2: Essay Question Response

Please select one of the questions listed below and answer it in an essay format not to exceed 1 page in 12 point, double spaced font. Please include your name and county at the top of the page.

  1. As Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau, your role is to promote a positive image for agriculture. What do you hope to accomplish as an advocate for agriculture?
  2. Please explain how agriculture has influenced your life so far and how you see it playing a role in your life in the future.

When writing the essay please be aware of spelling, grammar, punctuation, content and the depth of knowledge and clarity given in answering the question. Questions can be asked by the judges during the formal interviews pertaining to your essay answer.

Part 3: Personal Info & Membership Verification
Applicants and/or their parent or guardian must be members of the Calvert County Farm Bureau. This section of the application includes personal information, membership id verification and an agreement that if selected as Miss Calvert County Farm Bureau you will agree to participate in the Miss Maryland contest at the Maryland State Fair in August 2018.

Download the Application Here