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.
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!"
Howard County Farm
Are YOU Interested this
Year In Participating?
Miss Howard County Farm Bureau
Little Miss Howard County Farm Bureau Howard County Future Farmer
sponsored by the Howard County Farm Bureau Women and will be held
on Sunday, August 4, 2013 during the Howard County Fair.
• Contests will be held on Sunday, August 4th at the Howard County
• Contestants will ride in the Opening Day Parade.
• Cash awards to all contestants.
• Gifts and scholarships awarded to winners.
• Family must be a member of, or join, the Howard County Farm
• Fun and rewarding for all participants.
• Must carry agricultural-related 4-H project.
• Must be age-eligible to participate:
Little Miss & Future Farmer Contests: 8 to 11 years of
age as of August 1st.
Miss Contest: 16 to 19 years of age as of State Fair
• Miss Howard County Farm Bureau stage portion of contest held
3:00 pm in the Show Pavilion.
• Future Howard County Farmer and Little Miss Howard County Farm
Bureau presented during intermission of Miss Contest in Show
Age-eligible contestants who belong to the Howard County 4-H
Program will receive a detailed letter regarding these contests in
Are YOU interested? Do you know someone who might be interested?
Please call or email:
Annette Fleishell at (410) 795-6119 or
email@example.com for Miss Contest.
Mary Jean Coles at (410) 489-4717 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for Future Farmer or Little Miss
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