CENTREVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau held its annual family picnic Wednesday, July 13, at the 4-H Park near Centreville. Many local elected officials were in attendance, including County Commissioners Jim Moran and Jack Wilson and 36th-District Dels. Steve Arentz and Jay Jacobs.

The evening was highlighted by an extraordinary meal — roast chicken prepared by a team of cooks led by longtime Farm Bureau member John Draper and marvelous homemade side dishes and family-favorite desserts made by Queen Anne’s County’s “most blessed hands,” as mentioned in the prayer to open the picnic.

For the first time in memory, the QA Miss Farm Bureau and Little Miss Farm Bureau contests were not held as part of the program. The contests were moved the Farm Bureau banquet that was held in March. However, new QA Miss Farm Bureau Hannah Story of Barclay and LIttle Miss Farm Bureau Caroline Winterstein, 8, of Sudlersville, were both present, introduced and spoke briefly.

The Farm Bureau also presented scholarships. The first went to Luke Sultenfuss, who is now attending the University of Maryland’s Agricultural School in College Park; he was awarded $1,000. Outgoing 2015 QA Miss Farm Bureau Jenell Eck, the reigning Miss Maryland Agriculture, was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. Jenell will attend Chesapeake College this fall. Both awards were presented by current QA Farm Bureau President Tom Jackson.

Jackson introduced Council of Governments representatives George “Smokey” Sigler, Centreville Town Council president, and Charlie Rhodes, Church Hill town commissioner, who lobbied in support of changing how county commissioners are elected in Queen Anne’s County. House Bill 1344 put a straw poll (non-binding) question on the November ballot seeking the opinion of county residents on a proposal that residents from each election district vote only on the candidate from within their residency district rather than voting for all five.

“This is the only way north county residents can elect a commissioner who will represent the agricultural interests of the major of the county that lives in north county,” Sigler said.

Rhodes added, “The last time we had an agricultural commissioner was when Paul Gunther was elected.”

Jackson spoke briefly about the tragedy of deaths of children on farms across the nation.

He said, “On average, a child dies in a farm-related accident every three days in the U.S. Most of these accidents are caused by carelessness. We take too many risks. Something happens when people take shortcuts instead of thinking of safety first.”

It was a solemn message he shared with the audience.

He then introduced Nationwide Insurance Risk Management Counselor Ben King who spoke for about 30 minutes, using slides of accidents that could have been prevented with proper planning of farm layouts. He gave numerous examples.

King was followed by Nationwide Agent Buddy Cahall who spoke briefly about insurance options for farm families.

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