2017: The Bowling Family
Family Name: The Bowling Family
The Bowling Family of Charles County has lived and farmed for three generations at their Bunker Hill location, and for many generations before that at neighboring farms. Wallace and Martha Bowling purchased the 271 acre farm in 1944. Their main crop was tobacco, which was supplemented by cattle, hogs, and a grain operation in rotation. Wallace passed away in 1960, leaving his 18 year-old son Eddie in charge of the farm. Eddie was later joined by younger brothers Calvin, Charles, James and Howard. In 1998, Charles’ son Chip took over full-time. In 2000, the family accepted the state’s tobacco buyout program, which left them looking for new ways to remain viable. Chip started Bowling Agri-Services with his wife Lynn and their two daughters, leasing land and buildings from the family’s Bunker Hill Farm. The company has expanded from 200 acres of grain crops in the 90s to nearly 1,000 acres today, leasing land on 16 tracts comprising 102 separate fields. The Bowlings are known as leaders in the agricultural community. Chip, Lynn, and their daughters have been active in the local 4-H program. Lynn is a member of Common Ground, an organization that communicates with the public about farm and food issues. Chip has held leadership positions in several local, state, and national organizations. This includes Charles County Farm Bureau and Maryland Grain Producers Association, where he served as president of the Utilization Board. Chip also served as president of the National Corn Growers Association (NGCA). He is the organization’s first president from the East Coast, and the first to serve two terms. Through his work with NGCA, Chip played a major role in many federal initiatives, including the passage of two farm bills.
Ceremony Date: 2/1/18