DOVER, Del. — Brothers Keith and Richard Carlisle, who have been farming near Greenwood since the 1960s, were jointly honored for their service and contributions Thursday evening, presented with the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture.
“Keith and Richard Carlisle have been actively serving and leading Delaware’s farming community for five decades,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, who presented the award jointly with Acting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse at the annual Delaware Agricultural Industry Dinner.
“They have been involved in almost every agricultural organization in the state, helped their fellow farmers selflessly, and tirelessly worked to promote agriculture,” Kee said. “They have been innovators and supporters of research, and have always stood ready to lend a helping hand.”
Both graduates of Bridgeville High School, the brothers grew up in a family whose farming roots in Delaware date back to the Civil War. After graduating from the University of Delaware — Keith in 1964 and Richard in 1967 — they returned to the family farm. Over the years, they have grown corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, lima beans, sweet corn, peppers, cucumbers and watermelon.
Both have earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware. Richard has sat on the Delaware Soybean Board, held offices in the Delaware Farm Bureau, and been active in the University of Delaware’s Ag Alumni Association. Keith has served as Delaware’s representative on the board of directors of Agway and on the board of the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, and also earned the University of Delaware’s Agricultural Alumni Award for Outstanding Service, or the Worrilow Award.
Keith is married to Carol, and the couple has two sons. Richard is married to Kathy, and they have two sons and a daughter.
Eventually, the brothers divided the family farm into two operations for estate and succession purposes, a forward-thinking plan that facilitated the entry of the next generation. Keith’s son, Will, and Richard’s sons, Richard Jr. and Cameron, are all involved in the farms.
The Agricultural Industry Dinner, in its 46th year, was attended by more than 400 people, including farmers, business leaders and elected officials. It is sponsored by the Delaware Council of Farm Organizations.
Past recipients of the Secretary’s Award include former MidAtlantic Farm Credit senior vice-president Kenny Bounds (2016); Farm Service Agency official Robin Talley (2015); Schiff Farms of Harrington (2015); farmers Laura Hill of Lewes and Barbara Sapp of Milton (2014); dairy farmer Walter C. Hopkins Sr. of Lewes (2013); U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse, a former Delaware secretary of agriculture (2012); Delmarva Farmer Senior Editor Bruce Hotchkiss (2012); James Baxter of Georgetown (2011); brothers David, Ed and Robert Baker of Middletown (2010); Bill Vanderwende of Bridgeville (2009); and Ed Kee of Lincoln (2008).
— Delaware Department of Agriculture