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ANNAPOLIS — A Montgomery County family was inducted into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame Feb. 8, the 50th recipients of the state’s most prestigious agricultural award.
Charles Linthicum, Tom Linthicum and Paula Linthicum accepted the award for the Linthicum family of Seneca Ayr Farms in Laytonsville. The family is the oldest continuously farming family in Montgomery County, according to a state press release, with nearly 200 years in the field — pun intended –and a history dating back to 1826.
“Our administration remains committed to doing all we can to ensure that Maryland families continue to run profitable, sustainable farms for generations to come,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “The Linthicums and all of our Maryland farm families here today are an inspiration to us all. On behalf of all the citizens of our great state, I want to sincerely congratulate them and thank them for making Maryland a better place with their outstanding stewardship of the land, production of food, and their vital contributions to our economy.”
The Linthicum family started off as tobacco farmers, who then transitioned to dairy around the turn of the century. After their house burned down in 1927, they refocused on livestock and crops, but eventually transitioned back into dairy farming, according to a press release.
Around the mid-1990s, the family transitioned away from dairy once again, this time into raising hogs and growing crops. In 2015, their hog-finishing barn burned down, and the family transitioned to a small herd of beef cattle, along with growing corn, wheat and soybeans as well as making hay and straw.
“I am hard-pressed to think of a family more deserving of this distinct honor than the Linthicums,” said Michele Cropp, president of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau. “In the face of major setbacks and obstacles, the Linthicum family has persevered and adapted their farm several times to remain successful. Their resilience and unwavering commitment to agriculture in Maryland is inspiring, and I am thrilled to see them inducted into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.”
The family was chosen for their continued perseverance and adaptation to changing times as they “continue to incorporate new technology and conservation practices,” according to a press release.
The Linthicum farm, a 1,100-acre plot in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve, is currently overseen by Charles, Tom, and Paula and their employee, Jimmy Shelton. The family remains active in agricultural advocacy on the local, state and national levels, per a press release.
“Training I got from my mother and dad taught me the value of country life, and there was something more to it than just growing a crop and a love of nature,” said Charles Linthicum.