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Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative named Pheasant Echo’s Farm, owned by Barney and Debbie Stambaugh of Westminster, Maryland, its District 3 Producer of the Year. The award recognizes a cooperative member for outstanding farm management practices and environmental sustainability in a given district.
“We are proud of all that Barney and Debbie have done to establish such a solid family-focused operation at Pheasant Echo’s. Congratulations for being named Producer of the Year in District 3,” said Maryland & Virginia’s Director Matt Toms at the District 3 meeting held last week in New Midway, Maryland.
Pheasant Echo’s Farm is a true family-run operation. Barney and Debbie’s sons, Kenny and Bud, and daughters, Crystal and Tanya, are all involved in the business, as well as are their sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. According to their field representative Ernie Fisher, “the family does a great job. They fill in for each other, and they work together to keep their farm running smoothly.”
Barney and Debbie started the farm at their current location 28 years ago with a purchased herd of 30 cows. Today they milk 175 Holsteins and Red and White Holsteins, which they enjoy exhibiting at local, state and national shows.
The family focuses on providing their cows with top-notch care. They milk in a double-8 parlor that has padded mats for added cow comfort, and they house their cows in a bedded pack barn which is ideal for cow comfort. Their veterinarian makes regular visits and they follow a stringent vaccination program to ensure their animals are healthy.
The Stambaughs chose the name Pheasant Echo’s Farm for the crowing of the pheasants that lived on the land when they first moved there in 1991. They are responsible stewards of the land and work hard to ensure their land will sustain future generations.
They have implemented a nutrient management plan that minimizes fertilizer inputs and reduces nutrient runoff into local waterways. They practice no-till farming to reduce erosion and runoff by minimizing soil disturbances, which in turn builds the soil’s health and ability to hold moisture. They plant cover crops to absorb excess fertilizer and reduce runoff and erosion, and they use GPS technology to ensure accurate application of nutrients on their cropland.
The Stambaughs have always wanted to farm and feel blessed to have a family that gets along and enjoys being in the dairy business. They’ve expanded beyond just the dairy and have established a custom harvesting business and a flourishing fertilizer business, all three of which are family-run operations.
“Barney, Debbie, and family, thank you for all that you do on behalf of Maryland & Virginia,” said CEO Jay Bryant of the award. “We are proud to have you as a member, and we appreciate the work you do every day to set the example of a well-run, family-powered, sustainable dairy operation.”
About the District Producer of the Year Awards:
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative presents the District Producer of the Year award to a member farm in each of its five regional districts. The awards are given to members for their outstanding commitment to continuous improvement and to advancing dairy sustainability and industry leadership. First awarded in 2019, the District Producers of the Year will be considered for the cooperative’s top honor, Producer of the Year, at the cooperative’s annual meeting in March 2020.
About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative:
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of dairy farm families passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola branded milk and dairy products. Founded in 1920, the cooperative’s farmers produce three billion pounds of milk a year for consumers and manufacturers worldwide. Our dairy farm families take pride in creating dairy products people crave, operating with passion and integrity, responsibly caring for our resources and providing a rewarding livelihood for our farmers and employees.