ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Wes Moore and Agriculture Acting Secretary Kevin Atticks celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the Taste of Maryland Agriculture event by inducting the Fritz family of Carroll County into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. Members of the Fritz family accepted the award in front of more than 700 agricultural leaders and legislators from across the state at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.
“I appreciate that agriculture is Maryland’s top industry with its economic impact of nearly $20 billion dollars and I applaud our farmers for their contribution to our economy, as well as our heritage, and our health,” said Governor Moore. “Congratulations to the Fritz family and congratulations to the Maryland Agriculture Council on over 50 years of hosting this event.”
Sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame was created in 1991 by then Governor William Donald Schaefer to honor agricultural leaders who exemplify high standards of achievement and commitment to the industry and their communities. Nominations are accepted at local University of Maryland Extension offices.
“I am honored to be here with Governor Moore and the agricultural community tonight as we celebrate the Fritz family,” said Acting Secretary Atticks. “This family is exceptional in their legacy of leadership and commitment to using conservation practices successfully for decades. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition and thank you for all you have done for Maryland agriculture.”
The Fritz family is the 55th inductee in the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. More information on each hall of fame family is available on the department’s website.
About the Fritz Family
In 1912, Charles and Carrie Fritz purchased 90 acres of farmland and a large farmhouse in the beautiful Wakefield Valley, just outside of New Windsor in Carroll County. It was a dream for the couple, who had been tenant farmers for years. Six generations and 110 years later, the same farmhouse remains a homebase for their descendants. The current owners of the farm operation, which is now 480 acres in size, is the Fritz Family, LLC. The LLC members are Daniel Fritz and his two grown children, Jeffrey and Jessica. Jeffrey and his wife Diana have three daughters – Emily, Ella and Addison. Jessica and her husband Jeff have two sons – Sawyer and Cooper.
Over the years, the family has seen good times and bad, scarcity and abundance. Through it all, the family’s passion for farming has never waned. The farm was a dairy farm for 104 years and it was still profitable in 2016 when the decision was made to stop the milking operation. The workload of milking cows and the drop in milk prices contributed to the decision. Today, the farm has a small beef operation, but is mainly a crop farm that grows wheat, barley, soybeans, corn, hay and straw. Currently, the farm is 100 percent no till and has been for over 15 years. The family manages the fields using a software application and uses Global Positioning System (GPS) for accurate applications of chemicals and fertilizers.
The Fritz family has always been involved in community and agricultural organizations. Daniel’s brother George was a member of the Carroll County Agriculture Center and the Carroll County Soil Conservation Board, as well as the Southern States Board of Directors. Daniel was a leader for the following organizations: the Carroll County Holstein Club, the Carroll County Farm Bureau, and the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Daniel and Jeffrey are involved with the New Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, as well. And the youngest generation are in Carroll County 4 -H, where they exhibit cows, swine, and lambs.
–Jessica Hackett, Maryland Department of Agriculture