ANNAPOLIS - Fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, Earl F. "Buddy" Hance has been named deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Mr. Hance has most recently 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.
"Few people have the combined knowledge of agricultural and environmental policy, rural development, and running a successful farm business in today's economy than Buddy Hance," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "We are delighted that he has agreed to serve in the O'Malley-Brown Administration, and look forward to working with him and Secretary Richardson to strengthen family farm businesses, expand opportunities for all Marylanders, and protect the health of our environment and our residents."
A former tobacco farmer, Deputy Secretary Hance and his family farm 400 acres of corn and soybeans and operate several commercial greenhouses.
"In addition to Buddy's business and non-profit association accomplishments, he has been very instrumental in bringing together the agricultural and environmental communities," said Agriculture Secretary-nominee Roger Richardson. "His leadership skills and common sense will benefit our farm businesses and the environment."
"It is an honor for me to represent Maryland farmers in a new capacity," said Deputy Secretary Hance. "I look forward to raising awareness about the importance of agriculture to all Marylanders and to collaborate on ways to strengthen it."
Hance also is active in numerous local, state, and national farm and civic organizations. At the national level, he represents the Northeastern states on the American Farm Bureau Federation and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance Company Board Council. In Maryland, he serves 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.
Buddy and his wife Robin live in Port Republic, Calvert County and have three children.