The 161st Great Frederick Fair has come and gone, but the excellence of Frederick County’s agricultural community, showcased at the Ag Awards Ceremony, continues to captivate our attention. While we previously unveiled the award recipients, which you can explore here, we’re eager to dive deeper into each recipient’s story. Join us as we uncover the unique stories and exceptional contributions of our remarkable awardees. On behalf of the Agriculture Business Council in conjunction with The Great Frederick Fair and Ag Education PR Committee, we are honored to recognize the 17th Ag Advocate of the Year, Belinda Burrier.
Belinda’s journey in agriculture has been nothing short of remarkable. Agriculture is the lifeblood of our community, and Belinda has not only embraced this way of life, but has also tirelessly worked to ensure its prosperity. Growing up in the suburbs of Carroll County, Belinda was not immersed in farm life. Just twenty years ago, she married David Burrier and into the local farming community, and quickly became an inspirational leader and voice for agriculture. Currently, the Burriers own 109 acres in Union Bridge that are preserved through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation while producing hay, corn, soybeans and wheat on approximately 1200 acres total.
Belinda has put Frederick County agriculture on the map for state, national and global recognition. She was the first woman ever to be elected as a chair on the Maryland Soybean Board, where she served for nine years. She took her advocacy to a national level and is currently in her ninth and final year on the United Soybean Board (USB), where she became the first Maryland representative to have ever been elected to the USB Executive Committee. This achievement not only speaks to her dedication but also her pioneering spirit. She didn’t just break barriers, she shattered them, opening doors for future generations of Maryland farmers to follow in her footsteps. Throughout her time with the USB, Belinda has been fortunate to travel to nine different countries while advocating for national, regional, and local agriculture.
The Burriers welcome diverse groups to tour their farm and provide much-needed education and transparency for the general public. They have served as hosts for congressional and international groups, the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture, the Soil Smart Farm Tour, and Leadership Frederick County, just to name a few. Belinda has a passion for educating and advocating for agriculture, making it her goal to accept as many opportunities as possible to share her farm story. She is committed to this mission proclaiming that agriculture must remain at the forefront to help feed the world and continue the fight for food security.
Belinda is proud to have developed the safety program during her time with the Maryland Soybean Board and still serves as an active advisor. She holds an active role in many agriculture organizations including her election to the Maryland Ag Council Board of Directors. Dave and Belinda were recently named one of four finalists for the prestigious Maryland Leopold Conservation Award. This accolade is presented to farmers with a strong commitment and dedication to natural resource sustainability and conservation. They have also received a regional Conservation Legacy Award and were honored as Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers.
Belinda says she would not be where she is today without the strong partnership from her husband, Dave. He has taught her and encouraged her along the way during her time on the USB. The couple has passed on their love for agriculture to their children who continue to help on the farm while raising the next generation of agriculturalists. Belinda’s advice to other ag advocates is to find a mentor, participate in leadership advancement, and to always continue learning while listening and asking questions.
Belinda’s extraordinary journey and commitment to agriculture advocacy is an inspiration to many. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact she will undoubtedly continue to make in the years to come. You can follow Belinda’s journey on her LinkedIn or Facebook pages.
You can learn more about Frederick County agriculture by visiting HomegrownFrederick.com and following us on Facebook and Instagram. Stay tuned for our next Ag Award spotlight with Frederick County Ag Business of the Year, The Piedmont Group.