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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Ag secretaries discuss future of farming

EASTON — All three Delmarva secretaries of agriculture will participate in a panel discussion at Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s 15th Eastern Shore Planning Conference: The Future of Eastern Shore Agriculture.

Moderated by radio host Marc Steiner, the conversation will focus on learning from the past and looking to the future. Register now to reserve your seat for this important talk.


Sec HanceGovernor Martin O’Malley appointed fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, Earl F. Hance as secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture in May 2009. He served as deputy secretary of agriculture from February 2007 until May 2009. Prior to these appointments, Buddy Hance served as president of the Maryland Farm Bureau, chairman of the Maryland State Tobacco Authority, and as chairman of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Commission among other farm and community activities.

Hance also was active in numerous local, state, and national farm and civic organizations. At the national level, he represented the Northeastern states on the American Farm Bureau Federation and was a member of the Nationwide Insurance Company Board Council. In Maryland, he served as a member of the Rural Maryland Council, the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, the Patuxent River Commission, the Southern Maryland Tourism Council, the Maryland State Tobacco Authority, the Calvert Farmland Trust, the Board of the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum and the Board of the Calvert County Farm Bureau.

A former tobacco farmer, Secretary Hance and his family farm 400 acres of corn and soybeans and operate several commercial greenhouses. Buddy and his wife Robin live in Port Republic, Calvert County and have three children and one grandchild.

Ed Kee

IMG_7549Ed Kee is a native Delawarean who was born in New Castle and now lives in Sussex County. He has spent his entire career in Delaware Agriculture. Kee began his professional agricultural career as the farm manager at Nassau Orchards in Lewes, Delaware. Ed Kee was appointed the Kent County Agricultural Agent for the University of Delaware in 1978, and moved to State Vegetable Crops Specialist, working out of Georgetown. In 2004, Kee was appointed as the Extension Agricultural Program Leader. He served as the Vegetable Crop Specialist and the Ag Program Leader. Kee retired from the University in 2008 and worked for Hanover Foods Corporation as Director of Agriculture.

Kee is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on vegetable science. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These include articles published in the fields of horticulture, vegetable science, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, history and civil rights.

Kee has published or lectured on agricultural or historical topics across the United States and in Mexico, Germany, Hungary, Canada, and the Ukraine. He is the author of Saving Our Harvest: The History of the Mid-Atlantic Canning and Freezing Industry. Kee has also written numerous articles for the commercial agricultural press, including a monthly column for The Delmarva Farmer.

In 1996, Kee received the George M. Worrilow Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture by a University of Delaware College of Agriculture graduate. In 2005, he received the University of Delaware’s Ratledge Award for Outstanding Public Service … the highest award the university gives for public service.  In January 2008, Kee received the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture from then Secretary of Agriculture, Michael Scuse. The award was given in recognition of Ed Kee’s 30 plus years of meritorious service to Delaware agriculture.

Ed Kee led the campaign to build a new library in Milford, Delaware. This $3 million project was completed in 1993. He has served on the Milford Library Trustees and the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Libraries. Kee was elected to the Milford Board of Education from 1995 to 2000, and currently serves on the Delaware Interscholastic Athletics Association Board of Directors. He serves on the Delaware Banking Commission and the Delaware Heritage Commission. He is the President of the Delaware Agricultural Museum Campaign to “Re-invent the Museum.”

Kee is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Felton Bank, and sits on the board of the bank’s holding company, Shorebancshares, Inc., of Easton, Maryland. He served as the secretary-treasurer of the University of Delaware Agricultural Alumni Association for 20 years. Ed and his wife Debbie established a scholarship to send graduates of Delaware High Schools majoring in agriculture to the University of Delaware.

He graduated from William Penn High School in 1969, the University of Delaware with a B.S. and Master’s in Agriculture in 1973 and 1975, respectively. In 1996, he completed the requirements for a Master of Arts-Liberal Studies at the University of Delaware. His thesis project was the 1954 School Integration Crisis in Milford. This work was published in Delaware History, the publication of The Historical Society of Delaware.

Kee, a sixth generation Delawarean, lives on a farm near Lincoln City with his wife Debbie. Debbie and Ed have been married for 32 years. They have two grown daughters, who live in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Todd Haymore

Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture & ForestryGovernor Terry McAuliffe re-appointed Todd Haymore in 2014 to serve as Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry. Haymore became the Commonwealth’s second Agriculture & Forestry Secretary in January 2010 when then-Governor Bob McDonnell appointed him to the post. In addition to serving in Governor McAuliffe’s Cabinet and his duties as the chief marketing and development officer of the state’s two largest industries, Haymore is responsible for two of the state’s most well-known agencies, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF). He is also responsible for the Virginia Agricultural Council.

During the his tenure as Secretary, Haymore has worked closely with the Governor, General Assembly, and key stakeholders on a number of legislative and budgetary initiatives to integrate fully agriculture and forestry into Virginia’s overall economic development and jobs creation platform and to better enhance the standing of the two industries in the Commonwealth, across the country, and around the world. One of the major successes of these initiatives include creating the first-of-its-kind Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a multi-million dollar economic development grant and loan program specifically for existing or new agricultural and forestry value-added or processing facilities. In addition, Haymore led efforts to secure new funds to open trade offices in China, India, Europe, Latin America and Canada to assist in the marketing of Virginia’s agriculture and forestry products.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Haymore served as VDACS Commissioner from August 2007 to January 2010 under Governor Tim Kaine. VDACS is responsible for more than 60 laws and 70 regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture. VDACS has an annual operating budget of more than $63 million and employs over 500 staff. The agency’s mission is to promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, provide consumer protection, and encourage environmental stewardship.

The Department of Forestry protects almost 16 million acres of forest land from fire, insects and disease and manages 22 state forests and other state lands totaling approximately 68,000 acres for timber, recreation, water, research, wildlife, and biodiversity. DOF assists non-industrial private forest landowners through professional forestry advice and technical management programs. The agency has an operational budget of approximately $30 million and employs 287 staff. The agency’s mission is to protect and develop healthy, sustainable forest resources.

Haymore is a native of Pittsylvania County and was born and raised on his maternal grand-parent’s farm. He began his professional career as a legislative intern in Richmond to former Virginia State Senator Onico Barker. From there, Haymore served as a legislative assistant for former United States Representative L.F Payne (VA-5th). Haymore spent most of the 1990’s with Rep. Payne where he also served as the congressman’s communications director, as well as deputy campaign manager of Payne’s lieutenant gubernatorial bid. Following his tenure with Rep. Payne, Haymore worked For DIMON Incorporated, a leaf tobacco company that later merged with Standard Commercial Corporation to form Alliance One International. Haymore later worked for Richmond-based Universal Leaf Tobacco Company. He served in various leadership positions from 1999-2007, concluding his time with the company as Corporate Director, External Affairs and Vice President of The Universal Leaf Foundation.

Todd graduated from George Washington High School in Danville. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond and his Masters of Business Administration Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Todd also completed training at the Performance Management Group’s Virginia Executive Institute at VCU.

Todd is married to the former Margaret Cary Lewis and they have three children, Catharine Cole Haymore, Elizabeth Whichard Haymore, and Lillian Bryan Haymore.

Marc Steiner, moderator

marc-newIn 1993, when the General Manager of Johns Hopkins University’s radio station WJHU decided the station needed a public interest radio show, Marc Steiner asked if he could give it a shot. He was given a phone, a studio, one hour a week, and told to do the best he could. Thus was born The Marc Steiner Show. In the twenty years hence, Marc has become one of the most recognized voices in Maryland and has gained national acclaim for his insightful style of interviewing.

When WJHU came up for sale in 2001, Marc led the movement to maintain community ownership, and played an integral role in the founding of WYPR. He served as Executive Vice President of WYPR from 2002 to 2006, and in that time founded his own non-profit production company, the Center for Emerging Media (CEM). In 2007 Marc and CEM won a Peabody Award, the most distinguished award in broadcast media, for the series Just Words. In May of 2008 Marc brought his show to WEAA 88.9-FM at Morgan State University, which is still his broadcast home.

Creating something from nothing was not a new concept for Marc. He has always been on the cutting edge of bringing innovative programs to life. Earlier in his career he worked in therapeutic settings with at-risk youth. He founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system, as well as the Family Circle Theater, a company of teenagers that wrote, produced, directed, and acted in original productions. Marc also served for a year as the principal of Baltimore’s Experimental High School, and he taught Theatre for ten years at the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Marc and his wife Valerie live in the country just outside of Baltimore. He has three daughters and four grandchildren. 

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