Farm of the Year History
The Washington County MD Farm of the Year Award was created in 2010 and the programs first winner was recognized in 2011. The Washington County Agriculture and Marketing Advisory Committee and Leslie Hart developed this award. This winning farm showcases excellence in agriculture and promotes a greater understanding of the challenges faced by today’s farmers. Production, conservation, preservation, community involvement, and dedication to farming and agriculture is the gold standard for this award.
Every year during the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair time frame of mid to late July. The Agriculture Marketing Specialist promotes the upcoming award program at the Ag Expo and Fair. Additionally, the Washington County Public Relations department creates and promotes the award and accepts applications for this prestigious recognition. Applications are received year round and must be submitted in the September time frame. Judging for this award usually occurs the last week in September. Judges are sourced from other counties to visit the applicant’s farms and complete the scoring template. Presentation and announcement of the Farm of the Year winner occurs at an October Board of County Commissioners meetings.
The Farm of the Year is awarded in the October time frame receives a plaque recognizing the achievement, a metal sign that is to be placed at the farm entrance and a photography session by the Washington County Public Relations Department. Photos and videos are shared with the winning farm of the year for their own personal use. The Farm of the Year is showcased during the year through all media outlets.
Farm of the Year Winners
Stone Wall Angus Farm, located in Fairplay Maryland is a 50-acre farm dedicated to producing registered Angus cattle. Additional acres are leased to provide food for the cattle. This veteran-owned farm has been operating since 1987 and is owned by Jim and Ellen Matheny. The farm us worked by their daughter Stephanie, grandchildren Garrett, Laurel and Joey Siler. Stone Wall Angus raises top quality affordable beef that can be purchased at their farm store. “Farming is woven into his soul, a true love. Agriculture is the root of the American way of life; it is pure and simple. This exemplifies Jim Matheny. ‘Farmer Jim’ is dedicated to giving back to his community and state as well.”
Dairy of Distinction Award
The Maryland Dairy of Distinction Program was created in 2009 by the Maryland Dairy Industry Association. The concept for the program is that attractive farms enhance consumer confidence in the dairy industry. The program recognizes the hard work and dedication of dairy owners and operators who have attractive, well-kept farms and provide a good image for the dairy industry. Since 2009, 44 dairy farms have been recognized all across the state with 10 of those farms being located in Washington Count Maryland.
Awards will be based upon neatness, good maintenance and other factors that can be controlled by the dairy producer. Attractive background scenery should not be weighed heavily in judging. The award program may be used for subsequent advertising or promotion activities for dairy products or dairy farming. Dairy producers who apply for awards agree that, if selected, they will cooperate with these activities and make all reasonable efforts to maintain both the exterior and interior of their properties in an acceptable condition. Judging teams will visit farms during the month of May. Farms may be judged each year as the award is presented on an annual basis.
The Dairy of Distinction sign is presented to the winning farm. The sign remains the property of the Maryland Dairy Industry Association, the local affiliate of the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program (NEDFBP) Committee. The sign is to be displayed at the entrance to the farm.
Dairy of Distinction Award Winners
- Linden Hall, Hagerstown
- Long Delite Farm, Williamsport
- Fair Oaks Farm, Smithsburg
- Shenandoah Jerseys, Boonsboro
- Clear Spring Creamery, Clear Spring
- Peace Hollow Farm, Knoxville
- Green Acres Farmstead, Hagerstown
- Creekside Dairy, Boonsboro
- Caprikorn Farms, Gapland
Maryland recognizes farms in the state that have been owned and operated by the same family for over 100 years. Washington County has 11 farms recognized for this distinction:
- Berman Lee Hixon Farm, Hancock 1845
- Elmer T. Cline Farm Inc, Williamsport 1880
- Felfoot Farm, Hagerstown 1898
- Bur Oak Farm, Hagerstown 1875
- Green Meadows, Boonsboro 1866
- Hixon Farm, Hancock 1891
- Idel Hour Farms, Hagerstown 1849
- Linden Hall, Hagerstown 1875
- Long Farm, Williamsport 1831
- MM Ranch, Sharpsburg 1913
- Montpelier, Clear Spring 1863