County fair honors farm family
CENTREVILLE — In a ceremony held Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Queen Anne’s County Fair, a legacy of farming and the tradition that goes with it was honored.
This year’s farm family, John and Betty Dulin were given a number of citations by local and state representatives to honor decades of work in the farming industry. Also highlighted was the involvement of their family and the passing of agricultural lessons from one generation to another.
“We’ve been farming for 48 years and it’s just a way of life for us on the Eastern Shore,” said Betty. “It’s very satisfying to be able to grow a good crop and have enough money to pay your expenses. We’re proud to be able to do that from year to year given how volatile conditions can be like getting enough rain.”
For John Dulin, his career started as soon as he was able to help in the usual duties of the farm. Recognition for his contribution to preser ving the farming way of life, according to John, was especially gratifying given the hard work behind sustaining a healthy yield.
“I’m very proud and we’ve worked hard all our lives, starting when I was young enough to work,” he said. “We’ve done very well and my work ethic was developed by my parents and we do the same with all that we have to do.”
Among the citations given were by Republican Rep. Andy Harris (MD1st) who underscored the importance of farming to the Eastern Shore’s economic viability. Harris also noted the need to continue to support farmers financially though state and federal programs.
“It’s great that families like these are honored. The economy of the Eastern Shore is based on agriculture, the poultry industry, and tourism. These are important legs of the stool and we have to honor the people that keep that going and that includes the Dulin family,” Harris said.
U.S. Census of Agriculture data notes that Queen Anne’s County boasts over 530 farms, which amounts to an estimated 156,941 acres.
With the average size of privately owned farms in the county 296 acres, the total market value of products sold is $166,855,000. That represents an average income of $314,820 per farmer.
Factoring in government subsidies around $4,242,000, the average windfall per farming family is $10,877.
“The Queen Anne’s County Fair has exemplified that farm spirit we’ve had for 50 years. I came to this same fair and won a five dollar prize 70 years ago, so it makes a lifetime of memories. This county is the biggest farm producer of any county in the state,” concluded County Commissioner Steve Wilson.
Republican Rep. Andy Harris, left, read a citation honoring the farming tradition as Betty Dulin, center, and her husband, John Dulin, right, wait to receive their award.