PLEASANT VALLEY — Outgoing Carroll Farm Bureau President C. William Knill last night thanked county farmers for their hard work and urged them to stay involved in agriculture issues.
The Farm Bureau "speaks your language"and can help make farmers' views on the issues known on the state and national levels, he said.
Knill, a Mount Airy dairy farmer, stepped down after three terms as president.
Almost 500 people attended the annual Carroll Farm Bureau dinner meeting at the Pleasant Valley Fire Hall.
The group, the county's largest voice for agriculture issues, elected new officers and honored outstanding members.
John Datt, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Federation's Washington office, was the guest speaker.
Datt grew up on a dairy farm near Pittsburgh and nowlives in Fairfax, Va. He has been the executive director of the Washington office since 1979, and is responsible for the organization's relations with Congress, President Bush, regulatory agencies and otherFarm Bureau activities in Washington.
He gave county farmers an update on federal legislative activities.
County commissioners Elmer C. Lippy and Donald I. Dell and state Sen. Larry Haines, R-Carroll,also attended the dinner.
The Carroll Farm Bureau, with about 1,330 members, has the largest membership of any farm bureau in the state.
Gary Brauning II, a dairy farmer from Finksburg, was elected president.
Greg Dell, a dairy farmer from Westminster, was elected vice president.
Five new directors were elected to three-year terms. They are:
* District 1 (Hampstead/Manchester) -- David Fleming.
* District 2 (Westminster/Woolerys) -- Glen Shirley.
* District3 (Berrett/Freedom/Mount Airy/Franklin) -- Harold Mercer.
* District 4 (New Windsor/Uniontown) -- Melvin Baile Jr.
* District 5 (Middleburg/Union Bridge) -- William Null.
Maryland Farm Bureau President Eddie Allen and Jay Hoffman, bureau executive secretary, presented seven members with Gold Star awards. The winners will go on to compete with winners from other counties at the Farm Bureau's annual convention in December in Ocean City.
The winners were:
* Membership and national affairs -- Daniel Wilhide.
* Service to members --Edmund Dutterer
* Women -- Margaret Schneider.
* Young farmers-- David Fleming.
* Information -- Jean Knill.
* Discussion groups -- John Mike Myers.
* Public affairs -- Gary Brauning II.
Five outgoing members of the county's board of directors were honored. They were: Ernest Martin, George Rill, Edwin Rash, Thomas Tracey and Wilhide.
Farm bureau members also voted on a slate of legislative resolutions, including 11 at the county level.
County resolutions will be sent to the board of county commissioners. state and national resolutions will be passed to the Maryland Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
* Opposition to any legislation that would allow public access to or through private property without permission of the property owner.
* Support of the farmland-preservation concept and a recommendation that county officials find alternative methods of funding to support the program.
* Support for the recommedations of the Future of Agriculture Committee, and a recommendation that the county continue to implement them.
* Support for the continued use of impact fees on new development tooffset the cost of increased services.
* A recommendation to control growth.
* Support for efforts to control noxious weeds.
* Support for recycling efforts.
* Commendations for establishing thenew South Carroll Farmers Market.
* A recommendation that the county continue to work with the Cooperative Extension Service and the county Agriculture Commission to develop a drop-off site for picking up dead animals.
* A recommendation that the commissioners support efforts to fill two vacant agriculture scienced postions in the county extension office.