Governor O'Malley Appoints Buddy Hance as Secretary to the Maryland Department of Agriculture

Roger Richardson retires after decades of service to Maryland agriculture


ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 28, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the appointment of Deputy Secretary Earl “Buddy” Hance as Secretary to the Department of Agriculture, and thanked Roger Richardson for his dedicated service to the State of Maryland, and his work in the agricultural community.  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.

“I want to thank Secretary Richardson for his service to the State of Maryland and to the agricultural community,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Secretary Richardson is a lifelong farmer, has served in numerous capacities in Maryland’s agricultural community, and has been instrumental in working together with the environmental community to help build a sustainable future for Maryland.” 

Governor O’Malley added, “I am also 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.” 

Under Secretary Richardson’s leadership over the last two years, the Department of Agriculture has:

  • Expanded consumer demand for and sales of locally-grown products here in Maryland at farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants, schools and other outlets;
  • Helped farmers reach new markets around the nation and the world, with an international focus on South Korea, the Philippines, Cuba and Russia;
  • Increased participation among farmers in cover crops and other soil and water quality best management conservation programs;
  • Oversaw the increase in compliance with the nutrient management law by farmers to 98 percent; and
  • Together with farmers and local governments, permanently preserved over 25,000 acres of agricultural land for farming. 

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.

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.     

Secretary Richardson is a life-long farmer from Worcester County. His family farms 3,500 acres of grain on the Lower Eastern Shore and operates a trucking company. He has a long history of leadership positions in agriculture. Before accepting the job of Agriculture Secretary, he served in a variety of positions including, director of the Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology; director of the American Corn Growers Association; member and now chairman of the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Board of Review; President of the Snow Hill Grain Co-op; member serving two terms on the Worcester County Farmland Preservation Committee; and member and former president of the Worcester County Farm Bureau.He has also served on the Maryland Farm Service Agency, Maryland Agriculture Stabilization Committee, the Worcester County Soil Conservation District, and the Agricultural Stewardship Commission in 2006. 

He married Fay Pusey in 1954 and they have two daughters, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He currently farms with a brother-in-law and a grandson.


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