Warren named ‘Noteworthy Farmer’
Family has been farming for 400 years
CENTREVILLE — When he was little, Downes Warren’s father told him, “You’ll have plenty of time to spend on those tractors, but not now” Warren’s father must have known what lay ahead because Warren has been farming since 1980. On Wednesday evening, Aug. 10, Warren was recognized as a Noteworthy Farmer of Queen Anne’s County at the annual Queen Anne’s County 4-H Fair.
The Warren family has a more than 400-year tradition of farming. Warren was named Downes after his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. The Downes side of the family established themselves in Ingleside in the 1800s. The Warren side of the family settled in Felton, Del., in the 1600s.
Warren said he was surprised to be recognized, but fondly recalled and credited his father with instructing him in the ways of farming and life. His parents were ver y giving, said Warren, and his father would say, “Children should be children; you’ll have plenty of time to work in your life.” Warren’s mother and father encouraged his love of reading and learning — something Warren instilled in his own children; his daughter Emily is in her first year of college and studying agriculture.
His father also taught him to “surround yourself with good people and don’t worry about what people think of you, you know the truth.”
Warren said, his father also helped him adapt his farming practices. “Till less, irrigate more,” became their new motto.
“Farming is a challenge, the weather, crop prices and marketing can all be in your favor and most of time not in your favor,” Warren said. Warren has 14 irrigation pivots in operation presently.
Warren received accolades from the Md. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford on behalf of the governor’s office. Rutherford is no stranger to farming; he served under President Bush as Assistant Secretary for Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We thank you and appreciate what you do,” said Rutherford. “Farmers are preservers of land.”
Warren also received congratulations and recognition from Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder, who also underlined the importance of agriculture as a cornerstone of Maryland’s foundation.
Denise Lovelady presented on behalf of Congressman Andy Harris, R-1st, and as did Del. Jay Jacobs, R-36-Kent, for Md. Sen. Steve Hershey, R-36, who offered his sincere congratulations and thanks.
“It is an honor and privilege to recognized your efforts,” said Del. Steve Arentz, R-36-QA, on behalf of the Maryland General Assembly, Jacobs and Delegate Jeff Ghrist, R-36_ Caroline.
“I wish you many great years of farming ahead,” Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jim Moran told Warren.
Warren was joined by his daughter Emily, son Downes III and sister Janie. When notified that he would be accepting this award, Warren was adamant that he give credit to his friends and neighbors who helped him in his success.
Warren said he takes notice of the up and coming young farmers around him and he hopes they will carry on the tradition of honest, hard working stewards of the land.
From left, Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder; Del. Jay Jacobs, Downes Warren III; Emily Warren, Del. Steve Arentz, Queen Anne’s County Noteworthy Farmer Downes Warren, Denise Lovelady, Commissioner Jim Moran and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.
Del. Steve Arentz congratulates Queen Anne’s County Noteworthy Farmer of 2016, Downes Warren. From left, Del. Steve Arentz, Downes Warren III, Downes Warren, Emily Warren.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford speaks Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the Queen Anne’s County Fair.