County fair hon­ors farm fam­ily

The Kent Island Bay Times - - News - By KRIS­TIAN JAIME Kjaime@ches­pub

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.

KRIS­TIAN JAIME

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.

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