Long wait finally over for the Rothwell farm
Maple Hill Farm named Outstanding Farm Operation of the Year
— Having been a member of the Cecil County Farm Bureau for more than 60 years, Thelma Rothwell was due to receive recognition, according to Willie Ewing.
“She’s 94 and she’s been a farm bureau member 90 percent of her life, and she hadn’t been recognized yet,” Ewing said Friday.
That changed last month when Rothwell’s Maple Hill Farm was named Outstanding Farm Operation of the Year for 2015. As the winner of the 2011 prize, Ewing just finished his stint on the award’s nominating committee.
“It was my turn, I guess,” Rothwell said Thursday.
She accepted the award, formally known as the William D. Cissel Cup, at a ceremony held March 18 at Rising Sun Banquet Hall. Rothwell will now have a say in who will receive the award next. She will serve a three-year stint on the nominating committee.
Although Spry Brothers oper- ates the farm now, Rothwell and her late husband, Horace, spent decades growing grain and raising Guernsey cattle and children. Married in 1938, both held various ag-related jobs along the way, including the dairy operation and Milk Bar where Baker’s Restaurant stands today on Route 213 near Chesapeake City. The couple moved to the western end of Cecil County in 1954.
“I had no idea how many places they had been,” Ewing said.
Research uncovered that the Cedar Hill-area farm, with its 1795 farmhouse, had been named Maple Hill Farm at one time, and the couple decided to resurrect the name. Located amongst expansive fields and hemmed in with dense trees, the farm is also one of the highest points in Cecil County, from which the Delaware Memorial Bridge can be seen.
Along with farm duties, Rothwell was also active with Cecil County 4-H, in which daughters Jean and Nancy were also involved.
Bill Cissel presents the William D. Cissel Cup to Thelma Rothwell at the Cecil County Farm Bureau Banquet held last month at Rising Sun Banquet Hall.