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Maryland Agricultural Commission Elects New Chair, Vice-Chair; Adopts Strategic Plan

(ANNAPOLIS, MD) June 12, 2024– The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced the election of John “Kelly” Lewis as Chair and Amy Crone as Vice Chair of the Maryland Agricultural Commission.  During the June 2024 Commission meeting, members also voted unanimously to elect Kelly and Amy to leadership positions for the 2024-2025 term. The vote was held immediately after Commission members approved a Strategic Plan for the Maryland Agricultural Commission, providing a framework for the Commission in its efforts to advance Maryland agriculture. The plan identifies the top priorities of the Commission and establishes committees to address these concerns, including farm profitability, anti-agricultural policy, regulatory restrictions, promotion and support of value added agriculture, loss of farmland, public perception of agriculture, bay health and the environment. Chair Lewis and Vice Chair Crone will lead the Commission through the transition to this new format and will provide guidance to Commission members on how to implement.  

“The selection of Kelly Lewis and Amy Crone as Chair and Vice Chair of the Ag Commission demonstrates the Commissions’ desire to continue to actively push for the promotion of Maryland agriculture,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “I thank outgoing Chair Kelly Dudeck for her vision to get the Commission to this point.  Her leadership has served the Commission well!”  

Outgoing Chair Kelly Dudeck served in her position with the Commission during the 2023-2024 term, holding the Agritourism seat. A member since 2019, Kelly worked through the Covid pandemic and provided guidance during staff transitions. 

Incoming Chair, Kelly Lewis, holds the Nursery 1 position on the Commission, representing the landscape and nursery industry in Maryland.  A member since 2022, Lewis brings decades of leadership, team building, and horticultural experience to the Commission from his 30 year career with Ruppert Nurseries. Lewis carries a certificate in Applied Horticulture Business from Texas A&M through their Executive Academy for Growth and Leadership (EAGL) and serves on several boards to advance the horticulture industry in the state.

Incoming Vice Chair, Amy Crone, represents Direct Farm Markets on the Commission, holding this position since 2020. Crone has an extensive background working in agricultural marketing and senior nonprofit leadership dedicated to the advancement of farmers markets statewide, and is a graduate of LEAD Maryland. Crone displays a strong passion for increasing opportunities for both farmers and consumers, ensuring representation for all facets of the food system both locally and throughout the state. 

For more information about the Ag Commission please contact Commission Executive Secretary Harrison Palmer at

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jessica Hackett
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888