Leader: Farmers on the Rise

Volume 27 Issue 1

A Message from the President, Tom Truitt: 

The ag industry today looks so much different than it did back in the early 1990s when I was starting out in my career. Actually, it looks a lot different than it did just five or ten years ago. With all of the constant innovations being made in technology and farming practices, our industry has never been more efficient or diverse, and it's important we recognize the trailblazers creating the future of our industry.

That was the goal of our inaugural Farmers on the Rise award program. Our Association’s footprint not only spans five states, but it’s arguably one of the most varied in the Farm Credit System. We have many members growing corn and soybeans, but just an hour away, you’ll find a farmer in Baltimore or Philadelphia looking to create a community food hub. Regardless of the type of farm, the next generation of agriculturalists are becoming more environmentally conscious and business savvy, redefining what it means to be a farmer, and keeping all of us on our toes.

We launched Farmers on the Rise in August of 2021 and received over 65 applications from farmers all across our area. It was tough, but after evaluating each applicant’s efforts in agriculture, financial character, leadership experience, community advocacy, and commitment to environmental stewardship, our judging committee narrowed them down to the top ten. Those ten finalists were invited to our Westminster, Maryland office in December for a round of in-person interviews and, after much deliberation between our judges, we awarded six of the top ten with $10,000 to help them see their business dreams come true.

We look forward to launching our Farmers on the Rise program again later this year, but in the meantime, you can learn more about this program by visiting mafc.com/rise or emailing fotr@mafc.com.

Have a safe and successful planting season,

-Tom Truitt, President and CEO of MidAtlantic Farm Credit

Check out the issue to read the full stories!

Caleb and Alice Crothers of Rising Sun, Maryland

Steady, step-by-step planning help Caleb and Alice Crothers grow their family farm in Rising Sun, Maryland. 

Read the Crothers' story here!

Emma Jagoz of Woodsboro, Maryland

Emma Jagoz of Moon Valley Farm in Woodsboro, Maryland provides healthy, high-quality products to customers that range from 500 CSA subscribers to restaurant chefs.

Read Emma Jagoz's story here!

Joey and Jenell McHenry of Kennedyville, Maryland

Joey and Jenell McHenry revamped the family dairy farm into a custom harvesting and direct-to-consumer frozen beef business in Kennedyville, Maryland.

Read the McHenry's story here!

Wes and Amanda Miller of North East, Maryland

Their value-added dairy products business spreads into added space as Wes and Amanda Miller continue to grow Chesapeake Gold Farms in North East, Maryland.

Read the Miller's story here!

Levi Sellers of Boonsboro, Maryland

Doing more with less, Levi Sellers owns and operates South Mountain MicroFARM, a sustainable farming, aquaponics, and controlled-environment agriculture venture.

Read Levi Sellers' story here!

Atiya Wells of Baltimore City, Maryland

Atiya Wells created Backyard Basecamp Inc., a nonprofit organization that reconnects black, indigenous, and people of color to the land and nature.

Read Atiya Wells' story here!

Find the full issue of the Leader here to download!