Fifer Orchards wins top state agriculture award

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Fifer Orchards photo

Fifer Orchards was honored with the Secretary’s Award for its overall contribution to agriculture at the Delaware Agricultural Industry Dinner this week.

“There has never been a time that I have asked to bring the governor, local and U.S. legislators, government officials, or farmers from other states and countries out to visit, that Fifer Orchards has told me no,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “This is a Delaware family farm that is able to showcase their operation and it is always exemplary.”

More than ninety-nine percent of Delaware’s farms are family owned and operated.

Fifer Orchards, located in Camden-Wyoming, was founded by Charles Frederick Fifer nearly a century ago.

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From the main farm, to the farm stores, to selling to local grocery stores and wholesale, to supporting Delaware’s Farm to School initiative, to developing a successful agritourism operation, to growing their community supported agriculture program, the farm has been able to minimize risk to weather the ups and downs involved in farming, the State Department of Agriculture noted.

The Agricultural Industry Dinner, in its 47th year, was attended by more than 400 people, including farmers, business leaders and elected officials. It is sponsored by the Delaware Council of Farm Organizations.

Past recipients of the Secretary’s Award include brothers Richard and Keith Carlisle of Greenwood (2017), former MidAtlantic Farm Credit senior vice-president Kenny Bounds (2016); Farm Service Agency official Robin Talley (2015); Schiff Farms of Harrington (2015); farmers Laura Hill of Lewes and Barbara Sapp of Milton (2014); dairy farmer Walter C. Hopkins Sr. of Lewes (2013); then U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Michael Scuse, a former Delaware secretary of agriculture (2012); Delmarva Farmer Senior Editor Bruce Hotchkiss (2012); James Baxter of Georgetown (2011); brothers David, Ed and Robert Baker of Middletown (2010); Bill Vanderwende of Bridgeville (2009); and Ed Kee of Lincoln (2008).

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