Local Farmers Inducted into Maryland’s Agriculture Hall of Fame 

Montgomery County farmers Bob and Drew Stabler were recently inducted into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame, the 43rd recipients of the prestigious recognition and the first from Montgomery County to be honored. The Stablers were inducted by Governor Martin O’Malley and Maryland’s Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance before more than 700 agricultural leaders and legislators from across the State during the annual “Taste of Maryland” agriculture event in Glen Burnie.

The brothers began farming with their father in 1958 and raised their families on Pleasant Valley Farm, which grew to 4,000 acres. In 2001, to simplify estate planning, Drew retired from Pleasant Valley and began a new partnership with Fred Lechlider (Bob’s son in law) and his son, David, to create Sunny Ridge Farm, which raises corn, wheat, soybeans and cattle on 1,800 acres. Bob and son Randy continue to operate Pleasant Valley, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle on 2,650 acres. Both farms have a history of using the latest best management practices and their average yields are consistently among the highest in Central Maryland

“It is my honor to stand beside the Stabler brothers tonight to recognize their outstanding accomplishments, commitment and contributions to agriculture, family, resource conservation and community,” said Secretary Hance. “They represent not just the best in agriculture and environmental stewardship, but also in business innovation. In honoring the Stabler brothers, we honor the dedication and hard work of every farmer in this state.”

Hear and see the Stabler brothers talk about their lives in farming and the benefits they have derived from agriculture or read more about their induction into the Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame. 

The Stabler family is also committed to the preservation of Montgomery County farmland.  Both Drew and Bob Stabler have permanently protected their farmland by participating in State and County preservation programs.

In late January, Drew Stabler, became part of another first in local agriculture when County Executive Ike Leggett announced the Building Lot Termination (BLT) preservation easement acquisition of the 200-acre W. Drew Stabler/Sunny Ridge Farm, the Stabler family’s home farm in the Laytonsville/Damascus area.  This is the County’s first BLT easement under its new plan.

The primary purpose of a BLT Easement is to preserve agricultural land by reducing the fragmentation of farmland resulting from residential development by restricting residential, commercial, industrial and other non-agricultural uses.

Finance Department’s Chief Operating Officer Honored with National Government Leadership Award 

Karen Quinlan Hawkins, chief operating officer for Montgomery County’s Department of Finance, has received this year’s Distinguished Local Government Leadership Award from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).

Hawkins has worked in Montgomery County’s Department of Finance for 16 years and is responsible for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating policies and work programs for the department. She was cited by AGA for her commitment and contributions to local government, as evidenced by Montgomery County’s consistent awards for excellence in financial reporting and Triple AAA bond rating over the past 16 years.

The AGA is a 15,000 member professional association that serves government accountability professionals by providing quality education, fostering professional development and certification, and supporting standards and research to advance government accountability.

Montgomery County has received the Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting more often than any other county in the nation – 49 times – as early as 1951 and consecutively for 39 years, since 1972.

POSTED AT: Thursday, March 01, 2012 | 2:00:00 AM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
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