2011: Bob and Drew Stabler
Name of Family: Bob and Drew Stabler
Bob and Drew Stabler have been agricultural leaders and innovators for more than 50 years. They began farming with their father in 1958. Both brothers raised their families on Pleasant Valley Farm, which grew to 4,000 acres. In 2001, to simplify estate planning, Drew retired from Pleasant Valley and began a new partnership with Fred Lechlider (i.e., Bob’s son in law) and his son David to create Sunny Ridge Farm, which raises corn, wheat, soybeans and cattle on 1,800 acres. Bob and his son Randy continue to operate Pleasant Valley, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle on 2,650 acres. Both farms have a history of using the latest best management practices and their average yields are consistently among the highest in Central Maryland. The Stabler brothers installed truck scales in 1977 to weigh each load of grain going in and out of storage, which allows them to keep detailed production and yield records. They were among the earliest adopters of no-till technology. They began using split nitrogen applications on corn in 1975 which helps them use nitrogen more efficiently. They have also installed critical areas and waters where needed; constructed a fertilizer and pesticide loading and containment structure as well as animal waste systems at both farms. They have been Dekalb seed dealers and established on farm test plots for more than 40 years. Most recently, Sunny Ridge has worked with an agronomist on groundbreaking greenseeker research to improve nitrogen efficiency in corn production. And Pleasant Valley became the first farm in the county to fly on mid to late season fungicide applications for control of Gray Leaf Spot and other corn diseases. Both farms have become a must-see stop on farm tours for both student and agriculture professional as they have established a solid reputation for operating a clean, well managed and highly productive farm. Throughout their careers, Bob and Drew Stabler – as well as their spouses and children – have been actively involved in numerous agricultural organizations. Both brothers have also received numerous awards and recognitions throughout the years.
Date Awarded: February 2, 2012