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Sunny Ridge Farm

Have you always assumed that the fields of corn and soybeans in the Ag
Reserve or on the Eastern Shore were heading to the table? Not so.
That corn is largely used for feed as part of the meat production
process. On the Eastern Shore the crops are going to chicken feed.
Here it’s more likely beef.

I’ve always wondered what was going on with the beautiful steel silos
you see in the fields. Now I know. The farmers let the corn and soy
stay on in the field until it dries to a certain moisture content.
Then they harvest it. The corn comes off the cob easily in the
combine’s grinder because it’s dry. Then they haul it to the silo area
where they dry it further to the right moisture level for storage.
Some of it they sell right then but most they store to sell based on
market price.

The rains this year have been tough on the farmers, and the drought was too.

Here I am with Drew Stabler, a really solid guy who taught me a lot on
my visit. The guy my age is David Lechlider. He’s an 8th generation
farmer here in the region. If you do the math that’s back to the
1700s.

We’re looking at the corn coming off the truck into a conveyer and I’m
eating a few kernels while the massive dryer operates over head. The
roasting kernels smell sweet but mild.

All about a half hour from the County Council office building.

By

Solar in the Ag Reserve

Yesterday I met with Craig Ruppert of the Ruppert Companies. Craig and his
brothers grew up down county and started several successful
horticulture and real estate businesses. Their company has some 650
employees regionally and the HQ up past Derwood has superb green
features. Included among them is a solar field that provides all the
power they need to run the campus. I’ve often wondered why we don’t
see more solar and wind power in the reserve since renewable power
could support agricultural uses there. Craig is a very forward
thinking guy and I had a great time getting to know him.