Carroll's Place in the World

August 05, 1993

Many Carroll County residents may like to think of themselves as living in a quiet eddy sheltered from the large surges of change that buffet the rest of the world. But several recent pieces of news suggest that Carroll, too, occasionally gets caught in the political and social sea change sweeping across the globe.

Next month, for instance, a disassembled 140-year-old New Windsor log cabin will be shipped to Sofia, Bulgaria. The two-story building will house the first restaurant to serve American food in that formerly communist country.

Appropriately called the Log Cabin Restaurant, the eatery will feature typical fare from Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. The Washington, D.C., company that is backing this venture insisted on finding an authentic old building for its restaurant and had no trouble locating one in Carroll.

Several months ago, four Polish agricultural extension agents accompanied three dozen Carroll businessmen and bankers on a day-long tour of Carroll's largest farms. The Poles wanted to learn all they could about efficiencies in American agriculture that could be applied to the newly privatized enterprises in their country.

The Polish visitors examined pigs, cows, feed and tractors. They talked with local farmers, agronomists and local extension agents, hoping to absorb every bit of information they could and take it back to Poland.

The county isn't just exporting old buildings or farm know-how to formerly communist countries either. In June, the Mid-Atlantic regional office of the Heifer Project International shipped 30 rabbits to the town of Bamenda in the West African country of Cameroon as part of its program to improve animal husbandry in developing countries. If this group's New Windsor office can complete arrangements, sheep from this area will be exported to Ecuador later this year.

Even Carroll County's Farm Queen is a globetrotter. Marie Lee Speak, an 18-year-old from Taneytown, spent part of her summer with a Maryland dairy-judging team in Scotland.

These examples remind us that Carroll County's relationship with the world that surrounds it has changed dramatically in recent years.

After all, who would have ever thought of eating a crab cake in Bulgaria while sitting in a house that used to shelter Carroll farmers, or of finding rabbits from Carroll in the Republic of Cameroon, or of finding sheep from Carroll in Ecuador?

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