The Willard Family of Montgomery County, Md., is named as the 2023 inductee to the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.
In operation for more than 150 years, the Willard Family farm began Willard Agri-Service in 1970 to offer plant fertility solutions and was inducted into the Fertilizer Hall of Fame in 2018. Dee Willard attended No-Till Farmer's first no-till trip to Hawaii in 1993.
"They have been long-term no-tillers, and their ag retailer service hals always promoted no-till among growers in a big, big way," says Frank Lessiter, editor of No-Till Farmer.
Operated by Scot Poffenberger, Billy Willard Jr. and Joe Sayer, they no-till 900 acres of corn, 600 acres of soybeans, 400 acres of sorghum and 600 acres of wheat.
“The Willard Family have a long and storied history of conservation excellence and serve as exemplary stewards of the lands that they both own and operate across the region. They are both initiators and innovators when it comes to adopting new technologies and practices that help to promote the conservation of soil and water resources while balancing the environmental benefits with the economic viability of their farming enterprises,” says John Zawitoski, district manager for the Montgomery Soil Conservation District.
Over the years, both the farm and the agri-service business have received numerous awards, including the ARA Lifetime Achievement Award and ARA Distinguished Service Award.
The Willards will be honored Feb. 1 at the annual Taste of Maryland Agriculture event.