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2024 Master Farmers revealed

The 91st class of Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers will be honored July 12 in Chester County, Pa.

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

May 28, 2024

2 Min Read

The 2024 Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers each have unique operations and encompass everything that’s unique about agriculture in the region.

Here is the 91st class of Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers:

  • Donald G. Maring, owner of Donald G. Maring Farm, a 1,300-acre grain crop operation in Woodbine, Md.

  • Wade Butler, owner of Butler’s Orchard, a diversified fruit, vegetable and agritainment operation in Germantown, Md.

  • Chris Hoffman, owner of Lazy Hog Farms, a 1,200-sow, 30,000-pig hog operation, and 45,000-head Kosher chicken operation in McAlisterville, Pa.

Full profile stories and slideshows are being posted this week, starting today with a profile of Donald Maring.

Back to Pennsylvania

This year’s crop of Master Farmers will be honored July 12 at the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers Association annual banquet at the Mendenhall Inn in Mendenhall, Chester County, Pa.

The Master Farmer annual tour on July 13 will visit several unique spots, including the Stroud Water Research Center, the PennVet New Bolton Center and two farms.

Banquet tickets are $85 each, while tour tickets — including lunch — are $85 apiece. There are a limited number of overnight rooms at Mendenhall Inn. Make your room reservation by June 12 and ask for the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers special “reserved block rate.”

For banquet and tour tickets, contact PennAg Industries Association at 717-651-5920 or email [email protected].

Annual tradition

The Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers is America’s longest running and most prestigious agricultural honors program.

It sprouted in 1927 as part of a Master Farmers of America program to foster stewardship and leadership. At that point, the program was initiated by Pennsylvania Farmer magazine and USDA.

Today, the award is co-sponsored by American Agriculturist magazine and by Cooperative Extension programs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia. Horizon Farm Credit and FS/Growmark are supportive partners.

It is the lifetime achievement award of agriculture that recognizes exemplary role models of outstanding management, land stewardship and community leadership.

The Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers Association puts on the annual banquet and tour in partnership with American Agriculturist/Farm Progress.

For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Association, visit midatlanticmasterfarmer.wordpresscom, or go to the Facebook site at

Read more about:

Master Farmers

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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