SUDLERSVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting and banquet Friday evening, March 16, where the 2018 Miss and Little Miss Farm Bureau were chosen. The selection, made by judges from outside the Queen Anne’s County, formerly took place at the Farm Bureau picnic held in July at the 4-H Park near Centreville. Last year the selection process was moved up to March, and the picnic in July was canceled..

QA Farm Bureau President Tom Jackson welcomed everyone and then invited tables to enjoy the wonderful seafood meal catered by Thompson Seafood Catering out of La Plata in Southern Maryland. The meal included fried oysters, fried chicken, steamed shrimp and traditional Southern Maryland stuffed ham with all the trimmings.

After dinner, all attention turned to choosing the 2018 Miss and Little Miss Farm Bureau for Queen Anne’s County.

Cooperative Extension Educator Jenny Rhodes served as emcee for the contest. Rhodes quizzed the older girls on their experience and knowledge of agriculture topics. Competing for the 2018 Ms. Queen Anne’s Farm Bureau were Dakota Albers, 18, and Bailey Riggs, 17.

Dakota said, “During agricultural activities that I’ve been involved with in the past, most people, especially children, have no idea where their food from the grocery stores comes from!”

She said she’d like to become involved in helping educate the public on the importance of agriculture for future generations. Dakota plans on attending Delaware State University to major in Ag Business.

Bailey said, “Most people are unaware that 32 percent of all land in Maryland is used in agricultural production.” Bailey, a junior at Queen Anne’s County High School, plans to major in a medical field, but hopes to have an influence in affecting agricultural education also for all people.

Competing for Little Miss were Loralye La Clair, 7, and Shelby Higgs, 8. Former Little Miss Megan Madison served as the commentator for the younger girls.

The judges for both groups of girls deliberated while the guest speakers addressed the audience. The guest speakers included, among others, Maryland Farm Bureau President Chuck Fry, a dairy farmer from Frederick, and Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder, both praising the work of the Eastern Shore’s state legislators. Following the guest speakers, the contest results were announced.

2018 Queen Anne’s County Miss Farm Bureau is Bailey Riggs, and the alternate is Dakota Albers. This is the first time the county will have an alternate Miss Farm Bureau. This is so if scheduling conflicts arise (which they have in past years), Queen Anne’s County can rely that one of the two girls, either Bailey or Dakota, can represent the county at an event. Shelby Higgs was chosen as the 2018 Little Miss for Queen Anne’s County.

It was announced that the next Ag Day, bringing all public school seventh-graders to the 4-H Park to educate them on careers in agriculture, will take place May 30 and May 31. Last year’s Ag Day was deemed a huge success. Donations are being accepted to help pay for bus transportation to bring the seventh-graders from all the county’s schools on those days, as school bus transportation is not available for the event. Contact the Cooperative Extension Office in Centreville at 410-758-0166 to make donations.

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