Small Farmer of the Year Named by VSU Cooperative Extension
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2017
Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
VSU's Small Farm Outreach Program Names King and Queen County Charlie Maloney “Small Farmer of the Year”
Charlie Maloney, a small farmer in King and Queen County, is the 2016 recipient of the Andy Hankins’ Small Farmer of the Year Award. Maloney was recognized during Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) annual symposium held in November in Danville.
“I am honored and excited to receive this award, especially since I worked directly with (the late) Andy Hankins years ago,” Maloney said. “I proudly accept this award on behalf of all small Virginia farmers.”
SFOP agent Patrick Johnson, who works directly with Maloney and other small farmers in King and Queen, said he nominated Maloney for this distinction because he’s truly deserving. “Charlie is the epitome of a successful small farmer who’s innovative, eager to learn and willing to share his knowledge with others,” said Johnson.
Maloney said his affiliation with VSU’s program dates back to the early 90s. He describes this alliance as personally gratifying for him and acknowledges that the support and encouragement he’s received has been priceless.
The youngest of six siblings raised on a small diversified farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he recalls noticing as a youngster that small farms were being displaced by larger operations. This made it extremely difficult for small-scale producers to adequately provide for their families, he conceded. “Today, I’m thrilled to witness and be part of a resurgence, a regeneration of the small-scale farm operation,” Maloney said.
A minister and licensed professional counselor, Maloney retired from his psychotherapy practice in 2001, opting to pursue farming full time. He and his wife Miriam use ecological growing methods on their 18-acre farm to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables as the mainstay of their agricultural enterprise called Dayspring Farm. They have marketed their produce through a 175-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the last 26 years and also sell to several restaurants and produce stores.
Notwithstanding his full-time farming obligations, Maloney has devoted a portion of his time to teach asustainability and agriculture course each spring semester for the past 12 years at the College of William and Mary.