Delaware’s farming future and long agricultural heritage were recently recognized by the Delaware Department of Agriculture in a ceremony honoring the newest participants in the state’s Young Farmers Program and the latest inductees into the Century Farm Program.
Eight of the 10 participants in this year’s Young Farmers Program are from Sussex County – Ryan Swartzentruber, 29, of Greenwood; Cody Vanderwende, 22, of Bridgeville; Josh and Kathryn Wharton, 33, of Millsboro; Cory Atkins, 26, of Seaford; Sam Melson, 22, of Bridgeville; Clint Moore III, 39, of Millsboro; Toby Otwell, 33, of Laurel; and Doug Walsh, 35, of Laurel. Through the program, participants will receive no-interest loans to purchase farmland, which will be permanently preserved as farmland through Delaware’s Agricultural Lands Preservation Program.
Another round of applications for the Young Farmers Program will be accepted through Nov. 30.
Two of the four Century Farm awardees are from Sussex County – The Adams Family in Greenwood, whose farm was purchased in the 1860s, and The Gray/Oliphant Family in Georgetown, whose farm was purchased in 1913. Century Farms must have been farmed by the same family for at least 100 years and must include at least 10 acres of the original parcel or gross more than $10,000 annually in agricultural sales.
For more information on both programs, contact Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short at (302) 698-4500.