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The Linthicum family of Montgomery County, Md., were inducted into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame Photo courtesy of Executive Office of the Governor
HALL OF FAMERS: The Linthicum family of Montgomery County, Md., were inducted into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame at this year’s Taste of Maryland Agriculture event.

Despite adversity, hall-of-fame family strives to keep farming

The Linthicums are the 50th family inducted into Maryland Governor’s Ag Hall of Fame.

Gov. Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder inducted the Linthicum family of Montgomery County into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame at the Taste of Maryland Agriculture event.

The Linthicums are the 50th recipients of the prestigious recognition. Charles, Tom and Paula Linthicum of Seneca Ayr Farms accepted the honor from Hogan. They were inducted in front of more than 700 agricultural leaders and legislators from across Maryland at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

“Our administration remains committed to doing all we can to ensure that Maryland families continue to run profitable sustainable farms for generations to come,” Hogan said. “The Linthicums and all of our Maryland farm families here today are an inspiration to us all. On behalf of all the citizens of our great state, I want to sincerely congratulate them and thank them for making Maryland a better place with their outstanding stewardship of the land, production of food, and their vital contributions to our economy.”

From tobacco to dairy
With nearly 200 years invested, the Linthicums have been farming longer than any other family in Montgomery County.

The family’s story begins in 1826, when Lot Linthicum began farming tobacco in Boyds. At the turn of the century, the decision was made to get out of the tobacco business and move into dairy. As the dairy operation began to flourish, the family suffered a major setback when their house burned down in 1927. This forced the Linthicums to stop milking cows and refocus their efforts on growing crops and raising livestock.

By 1934, the Linthicums were back in the dairy business and continued to raise hogs. Over the next several years, the family updated their operation with modern equipment, which increased efficiency and allowed them to expand their milking herd.

Charles and Juanita Linthicum, their son Tom, and brother John continued the family dairy business through the mid-1990s, when declining profit margins and aging labor forced them to make yet another tough decision. By fall of 1996, the family decided to auction off their dairy herd and shift into raising hogs and growing field crops. The farm’s old dairy barn was converted into a finishing facility for the hog operation.

In 2003, the family bought a farm in Laytonsville, where they now farm over 1,100 acres in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. They grow corn, wheat and soybeans in addition to making hay and straw. Sadly, the hog finishing barn burned to the ground in 2015, which forced the family to sell off their breeding herd and refocus yet again on raising a small herd of beef cattle.

Charles continues to oversee the farm along with Tom and Tom’s wife, Paula, and employee Jimmy Shelton. They have remained involved in groups such as FFA and 4-H, and they continue to advocate for agriculture on the local, state and national levels.

Tom currently serves on the Montgomery Soil Conservation District board.

Sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame was created in 1991 by then-Gov. 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 Extension offices.

Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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