February 14, 2023
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Kevin Atticks, acting agriculture secretary, attended the 53rd anniversary of the Taste of Maryland Agriculture event and inducted 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 at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.
“I appreciate that agriculture is Maryland’s top industry with its economic impact of nearly $20 billion, and I applaud our farmers for their contribution to our economy — as well as our heritage and our health,” Moore said. “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-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 University of Maryland Extension offices.
The Fritz family is the 55th inductee into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. More information on each Hall of Fame family is available on the department’s website.
In 1912, Charles and Carrie Fritz bought 90 acres of farmland and a large farmhouse in the Wakefield Valley, just outside New Windsor in Carroll County.
It was a dream for the couple, who were tenant farmers for years. Six generations and 110 years later, the same farmhouse remains a home base for their descendants.
Fritz Family LLC owns the operation, which is now 480 acres in size. 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, their passion for farming has never waned. The farm was a dairy for 104 years and 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. The farm is 100% no-till and has been for more than 15 years. The family manages the fields using software applications and GPS for accurate applications of chemicals and fertilizer.
The Fritzes have 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 of 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, too. And the youngest generation is in Carroll County 4-H, where they exhibit cows, swine and lambs.
Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture
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