MidAtlantic Farm Credit announced the local winners of the national Fresh Perspectives Search, held as part of Farm Credit’s centennial celebration. The nationwide search ran from July through December 2015, looking for people making an impact in the agriculture industry, and leading the way for future generations.
Winners include: Trevor Hoff, a young entrepreneur who runs a farm market in New Windsor, Maryland, with his girlfriend Victoria Robinson; Kenny Bounds of Bethel, Maryland, a long time agriculture advocate; Allison Boyd, coordinator for the Farm Alliance of Baltimore City; Beckie Gurley, founder of Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks, Maryland and Chesapeake Farm to Table; Ann Karlen, executive director of Fair Food Philly; and Melissa Miller, farmer and manager of True Vine Farm in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
Hoff and Robinson were one of ten winners chosen nationally, honored in the “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” category. They will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize to help them continue marketing their business, Local Homestead Products, as well as a paid trip to Washington, D.C. to accept their award later this year.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Trevor and Victoria,” says Sandy Wieber, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing for MidAtlantic Farm Credit. “They are a great example of young farmers who are making a huge difference in agriculture on a regional level, and we are thrilled that they are able to share their story with others across the country.” Trevor started Local Homestead Products in 2012, while he was in college. Today, they sell fresh, local products directly to consumers in the area, including cheese, chicken, and vegetables.
Bounds was recognized in the “Financial Stewardship” category, Gurley was recognized in the “Mentoring and Volunteerism” category, and Miller was recognized in the “Beginning Farmer or Rancher Achievement” category. Both Boyd and Karlen were finalists in the “Rural and Urban Connection” category.
Farmers and ranchers, as well as individuals who represent other agribusinesses, cooperatives, academic institutions, government agencies, community and non-government organizations, applied to this nationwide search, which is recognizing leaders in agriculture. One hundred people were honored, with the top ten – one from each nomination category – being awarded $10,000. A reception will be held in Washington, D.C. in June, where they will be given the opportunity to meet with legislators and other supporters of the agricultural industry.
“Over 1,100 people applied for this search, and to have individuals recognized from our territory shows that we have a strong tie to agriculture in our communities,” says Wieber. “Trevor and Victoria have a true passion for what they do, and it shows in their work.”