A January16 Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) press release announced the resignation of current Secretary of Agriculture Earl “Buddy” Hance, effective January 20. Governor-elect Larry Hogan announced Hance’s potential replacement, Joseph Bartenfelder, on December 2, 2014. Bartenfelder is waiting on Senate approval. From the press release:
Hance, a fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, was appointed Secretary by Governor Martin O’Malley in May 2009. Prior to taking the position, he had served as Deputy Secretary from 2007-2009.
“The past seven years have been such a tremendous opportunity. I am honored to have met so many good people and its been such an amazing learning experience. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the outstanding staff at the department and see first-hand their steadfast dedication to the work they do on behalf of Marylanders. I extend my deep thanks to all MDA staff members for their commitment to Maryland agriculture,” said Secretary Hance. …
Bartenfelder grew up on a farm and for more than 35 years has been a fulltime farmer and small businessman. His family lives on the home farm in Caroline County and also owns and operates two other farms in Dorchester County. The Bartenfelder family sells produce at the Baltimore City Farmers’ Market and wholesale, raises poultry, and grows wheat, beans, and corn.