Buddy Hance Appointed as Md. Dept. of Agriculture Secretary

Mr. Hance is currently the Deputy Secretary and a farmer from Calvert County

ANNAPOLIS (April 28, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of Deputy Secretary Earl “Buddy” Hance as Secretary to the Department of Agriculture. The current secretary, Roger Richardson, 75, today announced that he would retire to travel and to spend more time with his family. His last day is May 5.

A fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, Earl F. Hance was selected as deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture in February 2007. Prior to this appointment, he served most recently 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.

“I am proud to appoint Deputy Secretary Buddy Hance as Secretary to oversee Maryland’s department of Agriculture. Buddy is highly respected in both the environmental and agricultural communities and I am confident that he will continue the work that Secretary Richardson has done to build our vision for a smarter, greener, more sustainable State, while protecting our family owned farms, and Maryland’s rich agricultural heritage,” stated Governor O’Malley in a prepared statement.

"I am very humbled and honored that Governor O’Malley has the confidence in my abilities to ask me to serve as his Secretary of Agriculture," said Hance in a statement. "The past two years serving as deputy secretary has given me a great opportunity to learn the true infrastructure of the department and to grasp how blessed we are to have such dedicated employees and volunteers who serve on the many boards and commissions that make up the agency."

Hance continued: "Agriculture is facing many challenges in the very near future such as meeting an increasing demand for locally grown and organically grown fruits and vegetables, preserving our valuable farmland before it’s lost to development, and balancing profitability while at the same time using the best research available to protect the environment. I am confident that with Governor O’Malley’s leadership, a dedicated staff and a committed agricultural community we can and will meet those challenges. I believe that Maryland agriculture is strong, is dynamic, and has a very positive future that together we can forge."

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 is a member of the Nationwide Insurance Company Board Council. In Maryland, he served as a member of the Rural Maryland Council, 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. He continues to serve the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department.

A former tobacco farmer, Deputy 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.

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