MACAA lauds Richardson, elects officers

Senior Editor

OCEAN CITY, Md. (July 8, 2014) — Lee Richardson, a Lower Shore poultry farmer and a passionate advocate for the ag industry, has been cited for distinguished service by the Maryland Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Richardson was honored last week as the MACAA held its annual two-day meeting here.
The association also elected new officers for the coming year and recognized three of its members for their professional accomplishments.
Richardson is most recently remembered for his leadership role in the fundraising effort to protect the Hudson farm family of Berlin, Md., from the ravages of a lawsuit filed by the Waterkeeper Association.
Richardson’s efforts emerge, perhaps inherently, from a farming family that has always been involved with promoting the story of agriculture, especially with the poultry industry, according to the ag agents association.
His mother, Kay Richardson, served as Delmarva Poultry Industry president in the early 90’s.
The young man, along with his parents, operates Richardson Farms, Inc., a 2,000 acre grain and poultry farm in Willards.
Richardson has served many years as Wicomico Farm Bureau president and was one of the original members of the Wicomico Young Farmers committee. He is always a key player in telling the true story of how agriculture impacts the daily life of the community for Maryland’s Eastern Shore as well as the entire state, according to the MACAA.
A graduate of the University of Delaware, he was a principal advocate in organizing and fundraising for Save Farm Families, an organization born of the Hudson lawsuit and to aid in the future in protecting farm families from devastating legal assaults.
Lee became involved in the Save Farm Families effort through his membership in Wicomico Young Farmers and has served as spokesman and director for the SFF efforts since its inception.
“Lee is always eager to tell the ‘farmer’s side of the story’ so those who are unfamiliar to the farming world can learn that farmers are people who are part of their same community,” a spokesperson with the MACAA said.
Jennifer Rhodes, Queen Anne’s County ag agent — and herself a poulty farmer and immediate president of the Delmarva Poultry Industry — was named MACAA president for the 2014-15 year, succeeding Dave Myers, Anne Arundel County ag agent. Other officers are Sudeep Mthew, Dorchester County, president elect; Ginger Myers, marketing specialist, Western Maryland Research Center, vice president; and Doris Behnke, Cecil County ag agent secretary.
Dale Johnson, farm management specialist stationed at the Western Maryland Research Center, continues as treasurer and Myers remains a member of the executive committee as past president.
In other annual meeting business, the MACAA members honored three of their own: The Achievement Award is given to a noteworthy Extension educator who has served fewer than 10 years.
• Ginger Myers, received the Mid Career Award for noteworthy service between 10 and 20 years;
• Shannon Dill, Talbot County ag agent: received the Distinguished Service Award, for an outstanding Extension educator who has served more than 10 years in Extension; and
• Jon Traunfeld, state master gardener, prinicpal agent at the Home and Garden Center in Ellicott City.