Linthicums join Md.’s Ag Hall of Fame

by | Feb 8, 2019

Gov. Larry Hogan inducted the Linthicum family as the 50th farm family to enter the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame at the Taste of Maryland Agriculture event on Feb. 7. From left is James Shelton, Paula Linthicum, Tom Linthicum, Hogan, Charles Linthicum, Anna Linthicum, Abbey Wiggins and Latham Wiggins, Latham Wiggins and Joe Bartenfelder, Maryland agriculture secretary. (Photo by Sean Clougherty)

GLEN BURNIE, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan and Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder inducted the Linthicum Family of Montgomery County into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame tonight, making the family the 50th recipients of the prestigious recognition.
The family was inducted in front of more than 700 agricultural leaders and legislators from across the state during the Maryland Agriculture Council’s annual “Taste of Maryland Agriculture” event, held at Michael’s Eighth Avenue.
With nearly 200 years invested, the Linthicums are the oldest continuously farming family in Montgomery County.
That distinction has not come without adversity, but the family’s dedication and hard work has helped them grow Seneca Ayr Farms to embrace the agriculture industry changing landscape and continue to incorporate new technology and conservation practices.
“Our administration remains committed to doing all we can to ensure that Maryland families continue to run profitable sustainable farms for generations to come,” said Hogan. “The Linthicums and all of our Maryland farm families here today are an inspiration to us all.”
Addressing the large crowd of legislators, farmers and others in agriculture, Tom Linthicum thanked Hogan for the Hall of Fame recognition and his support of agriculture and offered a challenge to all the legislators in the room.
He said the agriculture industry, no matter the segment, is facing a tough forecast and “when the ag economy fails soon after that it’s recession or depression, one of the two we’ll fall into to some degree.
“So I encourage the legislators to please, do no harm,” he said. “Leave the tools in the tool box that we need to do our jobs and run our businesses and stand with us as our Governor stands with us today and the rest of his term in office.”
The Linthicum family’s story began in 1826, when Lot Linthicum began farming tobacco in Boyds, Md.
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 burnt 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 raising hogs.
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 adjustment.
By fall of 1996, the family had decided to auction off their dairy herd and shift their focus to 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 Agriculture Reserve. The family grows corn, wheat and soybeans in addition to making hay and straw.
Sadly, the hog finishing barn burnt to the ground in 2015, forcing 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 with Tom, Tom’s wife Paula and longtime employee Jimmy Shelton. The family has remained involved in groups like FFA and 4-H and continues to advocate for agriculture on state, local and national levels.
“The Linthicums are an exceptional reflection of the diversity of Maryland farm operations, and the strength and persistence of our hard working Maryland farmers,” said. Bartenfelder. “I thank the Linthicum family for all they have done to keep agriculture prosperous across the state, and congratulate them on this remarkable achievement.”

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