AmericanFarm.com

Adams joins Richards in getting praise from MACAA

By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
Senior Editor

OCEAN CITY, Md. (June 28, 2016) — The Maryland Association of County Agricultural Agents, meeting on June 16-17 for its annual meeting, honored a Maryland meat goat fancier and specialist and a St. Mary’s County couple who, for two decades, have served as shepherds of the county fair and fairgrounds.
Pam Adams, who literally introduced meat goat production in Maryland, received MACAA’s coveted honorary county ag agent award.
John and Ann Richards of Leonardtown were cited for their “Distinguished Service to Agriculture.”
The Richardses moved to St. Mary’s County in 1965 and have been avid supporters of University of Maryland Extension programs and maintaining the agricultural heritage of the county.
They are best known for their involvement in the St. Mary’s County Fair Association. John has served as president of the association for more than 20 years.
The St. Mary’s County Fair is one of the largest agricultural fairs in the region, attracting about 55,000 visitors each year.
John and Ann also facilitate the use of the fairgrounds for Extension activities throughout the year and both also serve at the Maryland State Fair each year.
The couple operates a small livestock farm in Leonardtown, which they often open for 4-H events and Extension programs.
Ann became a certified Master Gardener in 2002 and John followed in 2008. As MG volunteers they designed, installed, and maintain the ornamental beds located on the county fairgrounds. They also teach gardening classes, provide articles for inclusion in the Extension newsletter, and maintain the county’s Freedom Garden.
John and Ann Richards, both certified 4-H volunteers for 21 years, were involved for many years with their own children. They are both 4-H All Stars.
The couple is involved each year in hosting community Farm Safety Days in St. Mary’s County.
They served as the primary coordinators for the event several years and have volunteered each year the event is held.
Both Ann and John have served as members of the St. Mary’s County Extension Advisory Council and each has served as president. Ann also served on the statewide Extension Advisory Council as president when the council was still active.
The Richardses are the parents of Susanne Zilberfarb, who serves as communications and public relations coordinator for the Maryland Soybean Board and executive director of the Delaware Soybean Board.
Pam Adams has been very involved in launching the meat goat industry in Maryland.
She and her husband, Don who operate and raise meat goats at Bridgestone Manor Farm in Eldersburg, Md., also own Sweet Reward Farm near McHenry in Garrett County.
Pam was a founding member and is the current president of Maryland–Pennsylvania-West Virginia Meat Goat Producers Association.
MPWV has hosted many workshops and trainings across the state.
Pam served this past year as the assistant meat goat superintendent at the Maryland State Fair.
Don and Pam have been great supporters of youth involved in meat goat care and production.
They started a scholarship program for 4-H and FFA members in Garrett County for students involved in a meat goat project.
Ten scholarships have been awarded. They have also been strong supporters of the Garrett County Livestock 4-H Sale.