Howard County, Maryland has a total land area of 161,394 acres
- of which
approximately 25 percent is farmland.
Agriculture is among the top five industries in the county - accounting
for more than $200 million in sales each year.
There are 318 farms with an average size
of 125 acres.
Howard County's major crops include dairy and livestock, corn and small
grains, and hay and pastures. Tree fruit, small fruits, and vegetables
add to the farm income. Pick-your-own operations, roadside stands, and
on-the-farm markets are important outlets for these commodities.
emerging agricultural products in Howard County include nursery
products, turf, bedding plants, and landscaping materials.
If you haven’t already seen or heard about it,
beginning this fall, Maryland Public Television & Maryland
Department of Agriculture will be showcasing MD Farming in a
13-part series. Below is the YouTube promotion video for the
series. All 13 segments of the series will air on Tuesday nights
at 7:00 p.m. and then be repeated on MPT2 as follows:
• Thursdays at 11:30 p.m. • Sundays at 6:00 a.m. • Fridays at 6:00 p.m.
The program will run for thirteen weeks, rest
for thirteen weeks, repeat for thirteen weeks, rest for thirteen
weeks and then possibly have a premiere for season 2 in November,
2014. Check it out!
Agriculture Contest - 2013
During opening festivities
of the Maryland State Fair at Timonium this past August, the 2013
Miss Maryland Agriculture title was bestowed upon Miss Gabrielle
Cory of Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County. But Howard County was also
faired well. We are quite proud of our own candidate for that
honor, Miss Laura Thomas, of Ellicott City.
Out of 22 candidates
competing for the honor, Laura was named second runner up. She
thus became one of four contestants named to Miss Maryland
Agriculture’s court. She ably assisted the state winner during the
State Fair and will continue to represent Farm Bureau throughout
the coming year.
2013 Miss Howard County Farm Bureau
2013 Little Miss Howard County Farm Bureau
2013 Future Howard County Farmer
young people were chosen to receive their respective honors on
Sunday, August 4, 2013 at the 68th Annual Howard County Fair.
Please see the
September 2013 Newsletter
for more details.
Miss Howard County
Farm Bureau 2013 & Her Court. Left to Right: First Alternate
Katelin Johnson of Mt. Airy; Amy Bodine of Glenwood; 2013 Miss
Howard County Farm Bureau Laura Thomas of Ellicott City; Meghan
Ross of Woodstock; and Jenny Carroll of Ellicott City.
Left to Right:
2013 Howard County Future Farmer Michael Yencha of Sykesville; and
2013 Little Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Kelly Spicer of
I Believe We
Really Did It!!!!
by Howie Feaga,
President Howard County Farm Bureau
was obviously overwhelmed and surprised when she was called
forward to be publicly recognized and honored at the Howard County
Farm Bureau’s Annual Legislative Dinner on the evening of
Thursday, April 11th in the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department’s
doesn’t miss much about what is going on around her. But in this
case, we were really able to surprise Merhlyn Barnes, the retired
secretary of the Howard County Farm Bureau. For the last 30 years
she has worked tirelessly for the organization. She always has had
a smile on her face and was more than willing to do whatever she
could, for the Farm Bureau, as well as for the Farm Bureau Women.
Even after retiring, she still attended the meetings. Finally one
evening "Miss" Merhlyn had to leave our Board meeting early and we
seized that rare opportunity to get right to work on planning her
Annette Fleishell places a ceremonial crown on a smiling
Merhlyn Barnes in recognition of her retirement after
faithfully serving for 30 years as Secretary to the Howard
County Farm Bureau.
We knew that we
wanted to do something special to honor this very special lady. We
discussed many different good ideas and ultimately settled on
several of the best ones that we might want to follow up on. There
were so many good ideas on our list that we still had a major task
ahead in narrowing that list down to ones that we should use. It
didn’t take long to decide though, considering what Merhlyn Barnes
has meant to us all, and considering who she is, and what she has
meant to the community and to the Howard County Farm Bureau
especially, we decided to follow through on almost all of those
First of all, we
decided to present her with a check for $3,000. One board member
explained that the check represented $100 for each year that she
served as our dedicated Howard County Farm Bureau Secretary, and
that seemed deserving. One of the Board members suggested that we
should present her with one of those symbolic "Big Checks" similar
to the kind that they give to the "Big" lottery winners. So, Mike
Calkins got busy and had a "Big Check" printed up for the
We also wanted to
present her with a plaque in honor and recognition of her 30 years
of service. So, Vice President Jay Rhine took care of that.
I contacted the
Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and they had some more great ideas
of their own. They went shopping and found some wonderful items to
put in not just one basket, but two baskets of gifts. One of those
items was a bottle of champagne to celebrate with. They topped it
all off with a crown to let her know just how they felt about her.
I think it goes without saying that we all feel the same way. She
is truly a Queen of a lady. She was officially crowned right there
at the dinner.
As President, I
want to thank everyone for all their help in honoring "Miss"
Merhlyn and in making these special presentations a success.
Personally, Merhlyn Barnes helped me immensely when I took over as
president and I will always be grateful to her for that.
There is really
no way to thank someone enough like "Miss" Merlyn Barnes who has
been so helpful and dedicated over the years. But as a group I
assure you, we all tried our best to do just that. So to you Miss
Merhlyn once again, we all truly and sincerely say, "Thank You,
and Best Wishes!"
This video is
dedicated to farmers, both past and present who have endured to
provide our safe, affordable and abundant food. Please take a
minute and thank farmers for all of their efforts.
Show Your Pride in
By now, you’ve
probably seen the beautiful new "Farmland Forever" sign posted on
a neighbor’s farm. The sign is available to any property owner
whose land is in the Howard County Agricultural Land Preservation
Program (ALPP). All you need to do to let others know that you’ve
made the commitment to preserve your farm is fill out a form.
There will be no cost to program participants for the sign or its
installation. The sign is made of aluminum and is 24" x 30" in
size, and a sample of what it looks like is on the ALPP website,
along with the form. The County will construct the sign post and
do the installation.
Maryland Farm Bureau
On-Line Membership Processing
You can go to the
Maryland Farm Bureau website and join our organization with a
valid credit card. Likewise current members can go to the website
and renew their membership, eliminating the need to mail in the
renewal notice with a check. Renewing members will need their