Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, November 28, 1998, Image 54

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    86-Lanc«ster Farming, Saturday, November 28, 1998
Hara-Vale Farm Is Home For Maryland Farm Queen
Maryland Correspondent
Emily O’Hara, Maryland Farm
Queen, promoting agriculture
seems to come naturally.
Whether in a one-on-one conver
sation or speaking to a crowd of
hundreds at one of the many
functions she attends as the
state’s farm royalty, her conver
sation is infused with a respect
and pride in agriculture that is
genuinely contagious. Emily
was selected as the state farm
queen this past September at
the Maryland State Fair in
Her love of farm life is espe
cially evident as she talks about
her homeplace, the 200-acre
Hara-Vale farm in Frederick
County. One of her four children
and the only daughter of Eddie
and Kay O’Hara, Emily grew up
working on the family’s dairy
farm. Her grandparents, Lamar
and Mary O’Hara, live just a
short walk down the road.
“One of the nicest things
about living on a farm is that I
know all of these animals;
they’re my best friends,” reflect
ed Emily as she walked out into
the meadow one day recently
She was approached by Rags, a
big seven-year-old Holstein.
“The is one of the first calves I
remember feeding at my grand
father’s farm,” she explained.
The O’Hara’s milk about 70
registered Holsteins on their
farm, but a herd average of
21,520 pounds of milk and 724
pounds of fat. Last March they
upgraded their facilities by ren
ovating their stanchion barn
into a California style flat parlor
and adding automatic take-offs.
Emily has cut back on her farm
chores since taking a job as a
teller at a local bank, but still
milks on the weekends. She
keeps herd health records, and
helps with the calves, too.
Emily also has a strong inter
est in floriculture and horticul
ture. She works part-time at a
nursery, and also has her own
business arranging flowers for
weddings and special events.
Her experiences in that industry
add another dimension to her
understanding of agriculture,
and combined with her knowl
edge of the dairy industry,
enhance her ability to articulate
some of the diverse issues
involved in agriculture.
Currently enrolled in a business
management program at a com
munity college, Emily would like
to open her own flower shop in
the future.
For eighteen-year-old Emily,
the road to becoming state farm
queen started about 12 years
ago. As not much more than a
toddler, the dairy farmer’s
Emily with Rag& in the meadow. “This is one of the first calves I remember feed
ing at my grandfather’s farm,” said Emily of the big 7-year-old.
daughter charmed the audience
and judges and won the county’s
Little Farmerette contest. Emily
said she was so awestruck by
the farm queen that she spoke
with that day years ago when
she was crowned Little
Farmerette, that she set her
sights then and there on becom
ing a farm queen herself.
Emily proved to herself and a
crowd of more than 120 people
that she had what it takes to
achieve that goal when she was
named the Frederick County
farm queen earlier this year.
And she also made it clear that
she has the kind of character
and drive that will probably
impress future generations of
little girls as a role model of
what an advocate for agriculture
can accomplish when she sets
her mind to it.
While she has maintained
her ability to enchant her audi
ences with her delightful smile,
during the past 15 years Emily
has also been busy putting
together a string of agricultural
successes that has taken her
around the nation and even to
Annapolis, Maryland to speak
before the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
Emily’s dedication to the
dairy industry is evident in her
reign this past year as Maryland
Dairy Princess. Being state
dairy princess offered Emily an
opportunity to reach a wide vari
ety of people with her message
about the importance of nature’s
most nearly perfect food. She
proved she could get the mes
sage across equally well to
groups as diverse as school chil
dren and politicians.
Not least of all, she took her
message to the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
When delegate Paul Stull, who
was both born and raised on a
dairy farm, sponsored a bill to
make milk the official drink of
Maryland, Emily got involved.
She decided to bake cookies and
pass them out to politicians, to
make them thirsty for milk. “I
started in the House, and I
worked my way up and I made it
to the Senate,” she said. After
passing out the homemade
chocolate chip cookies, the politi
cians craved something to drink.
The bill passed. “They all told
me they loved it,” said Emily,
“and that’s what made milk
Maryland’s state drink.” Emily
also testified in Annapolis in
favor of the Northeast Dairy
Compact legislation.
Emily graduated last year in
the top five percent of her class
of 470 at Frederick High School,
where she was a member of the
National Honor Society, the vol
leyball team, and was an
accounting tutor.
Like father, like daughter. One of the O’Hara’s four children, Emily, the only girl
took a strong interest in agriculture and is involved in the farming operation Here
are Emily and her father, Mr. Eddie O’Hara, in the barnyard.
“Su?n*Sr ’ttSldS™ h ° me t 0 EmHy °’ Hara - P ° Bing with Emi| V at the farm s '9 n
She found time to be active in
both FFA and 4-H, and distin
guished herself in both. During
her senior year, Emily was pres
ident of the Frederick FFA chap
ter, and was selected FFA state
ambassador, an honor that took
her to the national convention
last fall. In 4-H her projects
have included floriculture and
public speaking. She judged
floriculture for nine years, and
got to go to the national judging
competition at Niagara Falls,
where she placed fourth in the
nation. She also enjoyed being a
member of the 4-H exchange
club, where she had the opportu
nity to travel to California,
North Dakota, and Michigan.
This is Emily’s last year in 4-
H, and for her final project she
has decided to show a steer for
the first time. “I want to experi
ence the showing side of having
animals,” she said. The
Maryland farm queen has neve
shown an animal before; she has
been busy working at home on
the farm.
of the calves at Hara-Vale farm,