Educating Future Master Farmers

Since 1986, The Community Foundation of Frederick County has been the leading source for post-secondary scholarship funding in Frederick County. Our scholarships are funded by generous donors who believe in the value of education. Some of our donors want to support students aspiring to careers like theirs, which is exactly what De Willard, Rodman Myers, Frank Gladhill, and Mehrle Ramsburg had in mind when they approached the Community Foundation 12 years ago to establish The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund.

The four men are well-known in Frederick County as successful farmers and businessmen who have given back to the community in countless ways. They have each been inducted as Maryland Master Farmers, a designation awarded to farmers who are excellent land stewards and are proven leaders in their community. The Master Farmers program promotes and advances the agriculture industry and provides scholarships to students to help them pursue their educational goals.

When Mr. Willard received the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Award in 2002, he wanted to help interested students become better farmers through education and to have the freedom to attend any college or university of their choice. His vision was shared by Mr. Myers, Mr. Gladhill, and Mr. Ramsburg when they all founded The Maryland Master Farmers Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation in 2007. The fund’s purpose is to provide scholarships to students who are pursuing a post-secondary education in agriculture or a related field.    

To date, almost 40 students have received nearly $55,000 in scholarships. Students who have benefitted from the scholarship have studied at colleges and universities across the country such as Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State University. These students have pursued a variety of careers such as farm technicians, herdsman, and educators who keep up with the latest technology advancements in agriculture and pass those on to the next generation of farmers. 

The legacies of Mr. Ramsburg (deceased), Mr. Gladhill (deceased), Mr. Myers, and Mr. Willard are carried on through the fund that will benefit generations of agricultural students to come.