Emmy Dallam of the Bel Air area was named Miss Harford County Farm Bureau for 2014 Thursday evening at the Harford County Farm Fair.
"It was a very good contest," Emmy, 17, said after the contest, which was held in the pavilion at the Harford County Equestrian Center north of Bel Air, the site of the county fair through Sunday.
Emmy is the daughter of Kate and David Dallam, of Broom's Bloom Dairy, which is well known in the county for its ice cream. The Dallams also grow alfalfa, corn and wheat for animal feed, plus sunflowers.
She is a rising senior at John Carroll and is also a member of the Pioneers 4-H Club and the Harford County Dairy Judging Team.
Emmy competed against Beth Johnson, 17, of Forest Hill ,for the title.
She will spend the next year representing the Harford County Farm Bureau at its functions, as well as making visits to Annapolis and Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of Harford County farmers, Mike Doran, president of the Harford County Farm Bureau, said.
Farm Bureaus can be found throughout the state; their mission includes advocacy and lobbying for local farmers and agriculture.
Emmy will compete in the Miss Maryland Agriculture Contest, which is scheduled for Aug. 22 at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium.
She said that if the wins the state title, she would want to visit schools in each county in Maryland and talk to children about farming.
"I'm really excited to go out and educate the younger generation," she said.
Beth was the first runner up, and she will represent the Harford Farm Bureau any time Emmy is not able to represent it.
Beth is the daughter of Walter and Kathy Johnson, of Wheatland Farms in Forest Hill. Her family raises beef cattle and a small rotation of crops.
She is a rising senior at North Harford High School and is also an active 4-Her.
"I'm really proud of Emmy, and I'm also proud of myself," Beth said after the contest.
During the contest, both girls gave a brief introduction about their experiences with farming.
"My favorite part of 4-H is showing my cows," Emmy said.
Beth told the audience that "without my involvement in agriculture, I would not be the person I am today."
Each answered a randomly-selected question asked by the mistress of ceremonies, Clare Dalby, Miss Harford County Farm Bureau for 2008 and a first runner up for Miss Maryland Agriculture.
Emmy was asked if a person should get a college education if he or she wants to be a farmer.
She said a person should because the technology used in farming "is becoming so much more" than what has been used to farm in the past.
Beth was asked how she has been able to apply what she has learned in agriculture to other areas of her life.
She said it has helped her "become a more responsible young adult" by raising animals, strengthened her relationships with her family and helped her become a better public speaker.
Three representatives of organizations related to agriculture served as judges. They included Michael Calkins, a staff member for the Howard County Soil Conservation District, Ashley Larrimore, of the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, and Jennifer Richards, of the Maryland Farm Bureau.
The audience also heard remarks from Doran and Sydney Fowler, Little Miss Harford County Farm Bureau for 2013.
Doran encouraged audience members to become members of the Farm Bureau.
"There's a lot of benefits to being a member, obviously the biggest being preserving agriculture in Harford County and the State of Maryland," he said. "Numbers speak volumes, especially in Annapolis come voting time."
Sydney spoke about her year as Little Miss Farm Bureau.
"I'm happy to have the opportunity to be part of the team, promoting agriculture in Harford County," she said.
Olivia Huber, the Upper Chesapeake Dairy Princess for 2014, performed a skit to promote drinking milk and dairy farming. She played a doctor advising three of the minions characters from the "Despicable Me" films.
"Milk contains protein, which helps build and repair muscle tissue, and it's a source of energy to help you milk those cows," she told one minion, who wanted to build his muscles.
Elizabeth Galbreath, who was named Miss Harford Farm Bureau for 2013, gave a farewell address, reflecting on her year.
Galbreath, 19, is a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech. She is the daughter of Allen and Kim Galbreath, of Hawks Hill Creamery in Street. She was named third runner up in the August 2013 Miss Maryland Agriculture Contest.
She compared her experience to the Discovery Channel series "MythBusters," in that she spent much of her time correcting myths about agriculture in Maryland.
Galbreath said she often worked to correct the public perception that farmers are harming the environment, and that they abuse animals.
Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, as well as animal waste, are often blamed for causing water pollution, and many farms have been targeted for exposes of alleged mistreatment of livestock.
"I know that farmers are the primary stewards of the land," Galbreath said. "They do their jobs because they love their animals, and they love what they do, and they have lot of respect for their animals and keep them as happy and healthy as possible."
She noted that, while speaking on behalf of local farmers, she has also heard the concerns of consumers.
"I've understood the importance of the farmer understanding the consumer and the farmer being understood by the consumer," she said.
Galbreath also spoke of the "passion and drive" of Maryland "farmers in every single county, from Garrett to Worcester."
"I'd like to say, 'Thank you,' to the farmers who keep this nation going every day and growing every day," she said.