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Family Farm

By JEFF SEMLER | August 31, 2010
Drive west from Hagerstown on Broadfording Road and you will be treated to wonderful views of the farms and fields that make up the pastoral countryside. This corridor, like many back roads across our county, reminds us of our agrian roots and our agricultural heart. As you make this trek, you cross St. Paul Road and drop down a hill and around a corner which opens up to Ernst Grain and Livestock Farm sitting to your north. This family farm was recently recognized by the Maryland Department of Agriculture for its stewardship of this farm.
By BRENDAN KIRBY | March 16, 1998
by Kevin G. Gilbert / staff photographer see the enlargement Outlet mall crops up on family's farm Charles Barkdoll's red brick house is boxed in by Interstate 70 on one side, the increasingly busy Sharpsburg Pike in front and the soon-to-be-built Prime Retail shopping center to the rear. It is a far cry from the way it was seven decades ago when his family moved to the property from Chewsville. Back then, there was no shopping center. There was no interstate highway.
August 5, 2005
Farmers from all over Maryland came to Frederick this past Monday to tell state officials what they need to continue their way of life. Because this and other meetings will help Gov. Robert Ehrlich develop policy recommendations, it's important that farmers participate and try to speak with one voice. That will be difficult, of course, because farmers who raise chickens have different issues than milk producers. But all have some things in common. The first is insurance.
by JEFF SEMLER | January 10, 2006
You have read many articles over the years in this spot about keeping farms in Washington County. We have discussed farm profitability, the importance of agriculture to the community and other topics. Today, we will be discussing transitioning the farm to the next generation. This topic is not as simple as it sounds, but if we are going to have old farmers, we have got to get the young farmers on the farm. In most cases, this is a twofold process - transferring the business and transferring the property.
by MARLO BARNHART | February 8, 2005 KEEDYSVILLE - When Austin Flook and his bride, JoAnne, came to live on Felfoot Farm in 1955, they were the third generation to farm the historic site, which was carved out of a 1737 land grant. "Our son Dwayne Flook is fourth generation and his son, Logan Flook, will be the fifth," Austin Flook said. So it's perhaps no wonder that the Flooks were honored with a Century Farm designation recently for their commitment to farming and leadership in preserving agricultural land at the family farm along Dogstreet Road east of Keedysville.
July 11, 2010
George Richard Armstrong, 85, of Martinsburg, W.Va., died Thursday, July 8, 2010, at his home. A memorial service and reception will be Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the family farm. Arrangements are by Brown Funeral Home, Martinsburg.
September 21, 2010
Garland "Mule" Clinton Bartgis, 79, of Hedgesville, W.Va., died Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, at his family farm. The family will receive friends Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Tomahawk Christian Church. Services will be Friday at 2 p.m. at the church with Pastor Chris Butler officiating. Military graveside services will be in Tomahawk Cemetery. Arrangements by Brown Funeral Home, Martinsburg, W.Va.
May 30, 2011
The Town and Country Garden Club recently awarded a $500 scholarship to Joshua Chester Ernst of Clear Spring. Joshua is a senior at Clear Spring High School. He will pursue a career in resource management at Potomac State College in Keyser, W.Va. He plans to have a career in agriculture and will continue to help run the family farm. He is vice president of the National Honor Society, president of his church’s youth group and enjoys playing soccer.
April 20, 2012
Elbert Quentin Grossnickle, 93, departed this life Thursday, April 19, 2012, peacefully at his home. Quentin was born Feb. 19,1919, on the family farm near Wolfsville, Md., the son of the late Charles Elbert and Sallie Edna Leatherman Grossnickle. He was married to Pauline Ardella Kline, daughter of the late Austin L. and Mary Winfield Kline, on Aug. 8, 1940. Pauline preceded him in death Jan. 26, 2002. Quentin quit school in the seventh grade and worked on the family farm.
October 2, 2009
Evensong Farm will host the Bluegrass in the Barn concert Sunday. Gates open at 3 p.m. and music begins at 4 p.m. The farm is at 18502 Burnside Bridge Road in Sharpsburg. Kenny Ray Horton, an up-and-coming bluegrass singer and songwriter, will perform. Bring a picnic dinner if you wish. Light refreshments will be sold. Seating in the barn will be on hay bales, but you're welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs. This is a family farm and an event for all ages.
This time of year, agriculture has a built-in marketing hook. All outdoors becomes a giant billboard for one of our community's biggest economic drivers. The pastures and bank barns, orchards and farm fields paint the very picture of summertime in Washington County. It was fitting, then, that the Economic Development Commission (EDC) spent so much time last week talking about farming.    Every year, the EDC gives the business community an update at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, and in his presentation last week, EDC President Dan Pheil had a great story to tell.
June 23, 2013
Nancy Darlene (Grosh) Baker, 72, of Boonsboro, Md., went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at Reeders Memorial Home in Boonsboro. Born March 4, 1941, she was the daughter of the late William and Catherine (Lenharr) Grosh. Her husband, John N. Baker, preceded her in death on Oct. 4, 2000. In her early life, Darlene was employed at Frick Co. She spent most of her life working on the family farm and raising her family. She was a member of the Farm Bureau and was a very active member of Benevola United Methodist Church in Boonsboro.
By JANET HEIM | | June 8, 2013
William “Bill” Byers was a beloved teacher in Washington County. He taught 42 years for the county school system, the last 29 as a driver's education teacher at Williamsport High School, where he taught countless teenagers to drive. Bill knew a lot about what was going on in the community from the back-seat conversations of students awaiting their turn at the wheel, said his wife of 68 years, Ruby. “My dad, he knew everything going on in the high school,” said son Joseph “Joe” Byers of Hagerstown.
By JENNIFER FITCH | | September 27, 2012
A Franklin County, Pa., business leader with humble beginnings recently won an industry award for his accomplishments. Dave George, of D.L. George & Sons, started his career five decades ago in a ramshackle building on his family's farm. He is the latest recipient of the Franklin County Area Development Corp.'s Zane A. Miller award. “I never expected to be more than a two-man operation, or when my sons came along be a three- or four-man operation,” George said. Today, D.L. George & Sons employs 250 people in three segments - construction, trucking and manufacturing.
July 1, 2012
Three small businesses in the Eastern Panhandle were recognized in June in local ceremonies as recipients of the 2012 U.S. Small Business Administration's West Virginia Small Business Week awards program. They also were honored at the annual awards celebration May 30 at the Waterfront Hotel in Morgantown, W.Va. • 2012 Entrepreneurial Success Award: Michael P. and Peter M. McKechnie, Mountain View Solar, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Mountain View Solar is owned by Michael P. McKechnie, president, and Peter M. McKechnie, vice president.
By JANET HEIM | | July 1, 2012
Ron Ingram's retirement from Frostburg State University's downtown Hagerstown location at the end of May marks the end of an almost 42-year career in education. “It's been real rewarding. I've seen the whole spectrum,” said Ingram, 62. For nine years, the Washington County native helped students earn their master's degrees in teaching. Prior to that, he was a teacher and principal at various Washington County public elementary and middle schools. He taught at Sharpsburg Elementary and Western Heights Middle School, then was principal at Potomac Heights Elementary, Fountain Rock Elementary and Smithsburg Elementary.
June 26, 2012
The Maryland Farm Bureau has announced the hiring of Michael Amoss as a regional director in field services, covering Howard, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties.  Amoss grew up on a family farm in Harford County, Md., and recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics. His farm bureau roots run deep as he has been involved in the Maryland Farm Bureau Young Farmer program, worked at the Maryland State Fair as a U-Learn Farm coordinator and a Dairy Bar manager, and interned with Maryland Farm Bureau assisting in the government relations and field services areas.
June 18, 2012
Kathleen Virginia (Smith) Newcomer, 96, of Benevola, Md., passed peacefully from this life, Sunday, June 17, 2012, at Somerford House Assisted Living in Hagerstown. Born June 12, 1916, in Mapleville, Md., she was the daughter of the late Harry Mumma Smith and Sadie Estelle Cline, and stepdaughter of J. William Stine. Kathleen was a 1935 graduate of Boonsboro High School, where she worked as a secretary for three years after graduation. On Nov. 23, 1938, she was married to Richard H. Newcomer, and they lived on and farmed the Newcomer family farm at Benevola.
May 29, 2012
We are quite sure Shakespeare was thinking of our Mother when he said, "Though she is but little, she is fierce. " Tiny in stature, she was mighty in life and left to all who were blessed to know and love her, a mighty legacy. Betty Fairbourn of Hagerstown, Maryland, died peacefully, May 28th early in the morning on one of her favorite holidays - Memorial Day. Having been blessed with a long, full, healthy life she amazed her friends and family with the strength and dignity she displayed as she went through several major health issues over the course of a few short weeks.
May 15, 2012
Irving A. "Bob" Toms, 83, of Ridenour Road, Smithsburg, Md., passed away May 14, 2012, at Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown. Born April 7, 1929, in Foxville, Md., he was the son of the late Henry C. and Velma R. (Lewis) Toms. He attended Foxville area schools. He was a member of the South Mountain Rod and Gun Club of Smithsburg and the National Rifle Association. He worked on the family farm and was retired from Moore's Business Forms of Thurmont, Md. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Esther V. (Tracey)
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