2014: The Councell Family
Family Name: The Councell Family
Chip Councell, his wife Jo Ann and their son Jason own and operate Councell Farms, a Talbot County retail produce market along Route 50, and a grain farming operation in the Cordova area. The Councell Family began farming in Talbot County around 1690. Chip and Jason are the 10th and 11th generation of Councell farmers. Chip’s father Phil raised hogs and grain. Chip started farming with his father in 1979, married Jo Ann in 1981 and then added vegetable crops to the operation. They currently grow corn, sweet corn, soybeans, wheat, watermelons, cantaloupes, and squash, and they manage 1,000 acres of timber. Jason has been managing the vegetable production and agri-tourism operation since 2004. Jo Ann runs the produce market and Chip handles the grain operation. The Councell Farm is a family affair: Phil still helps daily and the Councell’s daughter Melissa, an elementary school teacher, is often recruited to lend a hand. Jo Ann’s mother Flossie and sister-in-law Betsy also work at the market. The 12th generation of Councell’s includes Jason and Casey’s children Avery, Davis and Sydney; and Melissa and Jason Dodd’s daughter Anna and son Nathan. The Councell family is committed to connecting with the community to explain where food comes from. They have diversified into agri-tourism, converted a shed into a mini-classroom, and now conduct tours for more than 3,000 school children. They also offer internship opportunities. Councell Farms was featured in a video for the “Mid-Atlantic Farmers Feed Us” promotional campaign and Maryland Public Television’s “Maryland Farm and Harvest” series. The Councell family is committed to conservation practices to protect the land for future generations. They have installed numerous grass-lined waterways and rock outlets to filter nutrients and prevent soil erosion, grown cover crops, and built two small shallow-water wildlife areas to attract waterfowl. The farm is enrolled in the federal Conservation Stewardship Program and follows a Forest Stewardship Plan. In 2010, the Councell’s were honored as the Talbot Soil Conservation District Cooperators of the Year for their efforts, innovation and dedication to protecting and conserving the land, environment and wildlife. Chip has been active in a number of agriculture organizations including Talbot County Farm Bureau and the Maryland Grain Producers.
Ceremony Date: 2/5/15